Peabody Legion needs help for town tradition
For 29 years, an Avenue of Flags has waved at Peabody’s Prairie Lawn Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend.
This year, 122 of the 231 flags were destroyed by high winds and hail. They need to be replaced before next Memorial Day.
The five-by-nine foot flags cost $35 each. Peabody’s American Legion Post is looking to raise money to replace them.
Allie Morris, vice president of the board for Avenue of Flags, a nonprofit organization that pays for the annual flag display and oversees maintenance for the equipment year-round, said the organization hoped to raise $5,000 to buy new flags and defray maintenance.
Jay Gfeller, commander of The Legion post, said something needed to be fixed every year, and this year some poles needed repair.
The Avenue of Flags project got started in the late 1980s when George Trimble’s family gave $1,500 to the American Legion.
Thirty-five flags first flew in 1993. More flags were added as veterans from Peabody died. In 2017, a veterans monument was erected. Each year before Memorial Day, names of veterans who have died over the previous year are added to the monument at a cost of $100 each.
The cost of flagpoles and lighting had become too expensive to keep adding flags. A new electric transformer would have been needed to illuminate additional flags.
The Avenue of Flags is a community pride, with many Peabody residents stepping up each year to help with maintenance, flag-hanging, and decoration of the cemetery.
Tax-deductible donations may be dropped off at Vintage State Bank in Peabody or mailed to Patsy Milton-Torres, 206 N. Pine, Peabody, 66866.