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Three new flag poles have been erected at Cairo city cemeteries thanks to the efforts of the Jake Poller American Legion Post 122.
A dedication ceremony for the new flag poles was conducted on Dec. 9 at the Cairo City Cemetery with members of the Cairo City Council present as well as others.
Post 122 Commander Tom Brown says several years ago the group attempted to put small American flags on the graves of deceased veterans in the city’s cemeteries, but it proved to be a daunting task. So, the group decided to place new 35-feet-tall flag poles that are lighted at night at each cemetery in honor of all local deceased veterans. The new flag poles have been placed at the front of Greenwood and Crestview cemeteries on U.S. 84 as well as the Cairo City Cemetery on Fifth Street S.E. and Forest Lawn Cemetery on 11th Avenue N.W.
“We’re proud to do it in honor of all the veterans that served who are no longer among us. One of our four pillars is to promote Americanism and the American flag is about as American as you can get. We’ve had great comments about the new flag poles since we put them up,” Commander Brown said.
American Legion fundraisers and private contributions made the project possible. Brown also thanked local veteran Shirley Brown who donated the night lighting for the three poles.
Brown said the project would not have been possible without the approval of the Cairo City Council and the coordination and efforts of Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton.
Clark Funeral Home sold the legionnaires the monuments at a discounted price, according to Brown.
The American Legion Post 122 honor guard, under the leadership of Wayne McDonald, also participated in the dedication ceremony. Commander Brown says the honor guard has participated in more than 200 funerals for deceased veterans in the last three to four years, primarily in Grady County.
“Every veteran that passes away has the right to a military funeral,” Commander Brown said.