7/02/19 - We Salute You David Cantrell

(Source: Jay Knudtson)
Updated: Jul. 2, 2019 at 2:49 PM CDT
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The Avenue of Flags at Cape County Park North is a must see. Five times a year the Avenue is lined with 700 American Flags.

It's more than beautiful.

Each flag on the avenue honors the name of a fallen Cape Girardeau County Veteran, by name, branch and if they were in a conflict.

That’s where a patriot named David Cantrell enters our story. David is a 25-year retired Navy Captain who, in his humble way, reminds us that while he didn’t start the Avenue of flags, he has made it his mission for over 20 years.

In 2014, he took charge of the project. Originally, the flags were made of cotton and came from the widows of veterans. Those cotton flags became faded and tattered over time. So David began the process of raising money to replace them with flags that will withstand the test of time.

Historically, the Avenue of Flags was set up in the daybreak hours of a holiday like Independence Day and had to be taken down at dusk because flag etiquette requires that an American flag flying at night must have a light shining on it.

People like David Cantrell raised money to install lighting on the entire avenue. Now the flags will fly from 6 Wednesday morning until they are taken down at 8 Friday morning.

With all that we celebrate this year, David and his family are working through a tough time. Captain David Cantrell lost his leg in a motorcycle accident on Sunday, June 9.

That means David will miss this year’s Avenue of Flags. But the community is there to show the Captain how much he means to them.

To Captain David Cantrell, we say thank you for all you’ve done. Your spirit in the face of heartbreak inspires us as Americans and we know that you will turn this into a way to help others even more. We look forward to your return to the Avenue of Flags. In the meantime, know that the Heartland’s got your 6.

Wherever you are in the Heartland, taking the time to reflect and enjoy this National treasure and all its meanings this Independence Day makes this a Better Heartland.

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