Something Borrowed, Something Remembered
Article & Photos by Paula Pugh, owner of Vivid Experience Candles
Every Memorial Day Weekend, those who pass by the Marysville Cemetery are greeted with something different. For those three days, the street and pathway through the cemetery are lined with over 200 American flags waving proudly in memory of those who volunteered their life to serve, protect, and defend our country.
Upon closer inspection though, one would find that these flags aren’t just any flags. Some are old, while others are new, and some have fabric stars, while others have embroidered ones. The reason for these differences is an important one, one that is unknown to most as they take in their beauty and pause to remember.
What makes these particular flags so different, so special? They are not flags that have been donated or purchased for display. No, they are memorial flags, flags which once draped the caskets of service men and women who lost their life in the line of duty, flags folded with great care and given to the their family afterwards in honor of their service and sacrifice.
Each year those families allow American Legion Post 178 in Marysville to borrow these flags and display them in memory of their loved ones, and in memory of all those like them.
The Legion members, along with members of their family, spend Friday evening carefully unfolding and draping the flags on large tables. I was assigned a spot next to the Legion Commander for this task. I found myself in awe of the great care and reverence he gave to each one, even deftly catching the corner of one flag as it threatened to slip off the edge of the table, not allowing it to fall.
Once each flag was unfolded, we began the process of attaching each of this years 250 flags to poles and carefully rolling them up to prepare them for placement early Saturday morning. I was in attendance for that as well, not only to help place flags, but to watch proudly as my husband, a former Marine, and son carried the waving flags to their place.
Once each flag is placed, the job of the Legion members and their families does not end there. Throughout the three day weekend, each and every one of the 250 flags is placed and raised at 8 AM and lowered to be taken in at 5 PM. If you are wondering, it takes them about 20-25 minutes to do, about six seconds per flag. It is a large task, but one taken on by many, and one that they preform happily and with great honor year in and year out.
If you happen to drive by the Marysville Cemetery today, or on any Memorial Day Weekend in the future, please take the time to remember not only those who have lost their lives in service of our country, but those represented by the waving flags you see, and the loved ones who allow them to be shared with all of us.