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Tag Archive | "American Legion Glen Hill Post"

A way to remember: the Avenue of Flags


The Avenue of Flags lines the road through Elmwood Cemetery, a reminder of many of the veterans that have served over the years. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

It’s a majestic site each Memorial Day—hundreds of flags standing proudly, unfurled in the breeze, against the pale blue of a sun-drenched sky. They line the avenue that winds through Elmwood Cemetery on Northland Drive in Cedar Springs. They are beautiful to look at, but what is the story behind them?

According to Paul Schrier, treasurer at the American Legion Glen Hill Post #287, each flag honors a veteran who is no longer living. The flags are casket-sized, and according to Paul, it began years ago when families would give the Legion the flag they received at their loved one’s burial. They would hold on to it for the family, and then fly it once a year on Memorial Day. 

However, some families want to keep the original flag, so the Legion allows families to just buy a duplicate to fly once a year. The Legion also provides a pole and a plate at the base with the name of the veteran.

One thing many people may not know is that the veteran does not have to be buried in Elmwood Cemetery to have a flag on the avenue. But they do need to be a veteran, have been honorably discharged, and have some connection with Cedar Springs. A duplicate flag costs $50, and can be bought from the American Legion Post.

It’s unknown exactly when the tradition started. Schrier said he’s been organizing it for about the last seven years. However, we came across a story in a 1998 edition of the Post where George Cooley, a veteran now deceased, said at the time he had been doing it for 14 years. At the time, there were 101 flags on the Avenue of Flags.

According to Schrier, there are now 180 flags.

It takes some work ahead of time to get the holes in the cemetery ready for the flags, as well as get any new nameplates made. The American Legion also is always looking for volunteers to help put up the flags at 6 a.m. Monday morning, and then take them down again about 4 p.m. in the afternoon. If it is raining, or if rain is forecasted, they will not put them out since they are cotton, and will instead hold services in the American Legion hall.

So what does Schrier want people to feel as they walk through the Avenue of Flags? “It’s pretty impressive. I hope they remember the veterans that have served over the years,” he said.

If anyone would like to volunteer to help, or would like to buy a flag for a future year, contact Paul at the American Legion Post at 696-9160.

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Memorial Day services 


It was a beautiful day across West Michigan Monday, May 30, and many residents gathered in cemeteries and parks for the annual Memorial Day Services.

Here in Cedar Springs, the Glen Hill American Legion Post held services at Elmwood Cemetery, where the Avenue of Flags memorialized veterans laid to rest there; at Solon Cemetery; at East Nelson Cemetery; and at Veterans Memorial Park on Oak Street. Nelson Township resident Lt/Col. Tom Noreen was the guest speaker.

Memorial Day services were also held at Algoma, Sand Lake, and Pierson.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society held their annual cemetery walk honoring veterans on Sunday, May 29.

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Lest we forget


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Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those that gave their lives while defending our country. It’s also a day to remember all those that have served and are now deceased. Inside this issue are the names of veterans buried in area cemeteries, and we honor them with this issue of The Cedar Springs Post. If you know of a veteran’s name that is missing from the list, please let us know and we’ll add them for next year.

There will be several memorial activities and ceremonies taking place this weekend that residents are encouraged to take part in:

The Cedar Springs Historical Society will hold its 16th annual Memorial Cemetery Walk on Sunday, May 29, at 2 p.m. to honor veterans of all wars. This year’s veterans will be Ebenezer Jewell, War of 1812; John Roys, Mexican War; Myron Fogleson, Civil War; Joe Osborne, Spanish-American War; Franklin Sheldon, World War I; Kenneth Winters, World War II; Rex Morris, Korean War; and Timothy Towns, Vietnam War.

Biographical and historical information will be presented at each gravesite. The Glen Hill Post of the American Legion honor guard will assist in the presentation. They will leave the museum in Morley Park at 1:30 p.m. and return there for refreshments. If it rains, the event will be held in the museum. In case of severe weather warnings, the event will be canceled.

The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 in Cedar Springs will hold their annual Memorial Day program on Monday, May 30. They will be at Elmwood Cemetery at 9 a.m., Solon Cemetery at 10 a.m., East Nelson Cemetery at 10:45 a.m., and Veterans Memorial Park, (corner of Main and Oak in Cedar Springs) at 11:30 a.m. In case of bad weather, services will be held only in the American Legion Hall at 9 a.m. Lt/Col. Tom Noreen will be the speaker.

The Sand Lake/Cedar Springs Tri-Corner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7912 will have ceremonies on Monday, May 30. They will be at the VFW Post in Sand Lake at 10:30 a.m. and at Pierson Cemetery at 11 a.m. Rain or shine.

The Algoma Township Historical Society will hold Memorial Day services on Monday, May 30, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. at Memorial Park, located on the south end of the Algoma township cemetery on Grange Ave., south of 13 Mile Rd.) The service this year will honor Algoma Township’s WWII veterans, including tributes from the families of the Powell brothers, Gabe and Russell, who both passed away this last year; John Carlton Sjogren, medal of honor recipient and the statue that is underway to be erected in his honor at the Rockford area museum; and music from the Algoma Baptist Church choir. Following the ceremony, refreshments will be served by the Algoma Township Historical Society.

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