Avenue of flags commemorates 14th anniversary of 9/11 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Avenue of flags commemorates 14th anniversary of 9/11

Each flag represents a deceased Cape Girardeau County veteran of a foreign war or conflict. Each flag represents a deceased Cape Girardeau County veteran of a foreign war or conflict.
The flags will line Memorial Drive until 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The flags will line Memorial Drive until 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Hundreds of flags lined Cape Girardeau County Park North to commemorate the 14th anniversary of September 11.

Volunteers converged on the park at 6:30 a.m. to put the flags in their places.

It is a 28-year tradition known as the Avenue of Flags.

A total of 450 flags are flown to represent a deceased Cape Girardeau County veteran of a foreign war or conflict.

This year, organizers hosted a ceremony to explain the significance of the Avenue of Flags program.

"All the flags represent a deceased veteran and many of them even maybe came off their coffin," VFW auxiliary member Jerry Hampton said. "They fought and died so you could be here today and with us and with me."

While some of the flags are new, others have weathered over the years.

"That's something we need to discuss and take care of," Avenue of Flags Chairman Dave Cantrell said.

However, Cantrell said the VFW can't do it alone.

"200 of the flags are brand new," Cantrell said. "We're asking for support from the community. Volunteers keep this program going but we need funding for it... We have to buy supplies and we have to replace flags and we want to continue to develop it and grow this."

Growing the program is something others want to see, as well.

"It means so much to me, to our city, to our nation and to our freedom," Mayor Harry Rediger said.

Cantrell said the goal is to make the Avenue of Flags a permanent fixture for the city.

The VFW is looking to develop a memorial that explains what the program represents that sits next to the Memorial Wall at Cape Girardeau County Park North.

Cantrell said he hopes the flag can unite the American people especially during a time when the U.S. people seem divided.

"It's always symbolized the United States of America and how we should act and live and love each other and live together," Cantrell said. :So that common thread that makes up this flag that to me is stronger than any thread that you might put in a shirt or slacks. It is a binding thread that'll bring us together. It can. If anything can, this can."

People looking to get involved with the program are encouraged to reach out to the VFW at vfwpost3838@yahoo.com or go to the post directly.

Cantell said all of the money donated will go straight to the Avenue of Flags cause. He said not one cent will go towards other work.

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