Oak Grove Cemetery in DL flying 1,950 flags
To honor fallen veterans, VFW member and Vietnam Veteran Dave Coalwell has been helping put up flags in Oak Grove Cemetery for 28 years. There are 650 burial flags and 1,300 grave flags. It is a site that cannot be adequately captured in a photo ...
To honor fallen veterans, VFW member and Vietnam Veteran Dave Coalwell has been helping put up flags in Oak Grove Cemetery for 28 years.
There are 650 burial flags and 1,300 grave flags. It is a site that cannot be adequately captured in a photo or described in print.
The depth of the cemetery extends beyond direct line of sight, and it takes quite a walk about to see all of the 1,950 flags.
The public is welcome to witness it up close over the weekend and on Memorial Day, but ever since 43 flags were stolen in 1996, the flags are closely guarded.
Volunteers from the Frazee wrestling team and the Union W62 helped put the flags up Friday morning. Both groups also helped last year.
Every year they try to get the flags up to display over the entirety of Memorial Day weekend.
Each burial flag is marked with one or two names, and then smaller grave marker flags are placed near the graves of veterans.
In Oak Grove Cemetery, there are veterans from every U.S. war with gravestones dating all the way back to the early 1800s.
Coalwell said he even believes there is a spot marking 26 civil war veterans and their commander who were all involved in a troop train wreck.
The Detroit Lakes VFW and American Legion together started the Avenue of Flags in 1990.
Oak Grove Cemetery is located at 515 Highway 59, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501.
Anyone else who would like to contribute to the flag project can either contact Coalwell at 218-847-9166 or send a check to: Avenue of Flags, 16905 Sharon Ave., Detroit Lakes MN 56501.