The Lawrence Veterans of Foreign Wars post will likely be able to put up part of its “avenue of flags” in time for Memorial Day, after all.
Earlier in the week, post commander Fred Shockey said a VFW trailer full of 300 20-foot flagpoles, some with brass commemorative plaques honoring members, had gone missing since February from the post’s property, 138 Ala.
Post members will still place small flags on graves at Memorial Park Cemetery, but they couldn’t fulfill the tradition of placing large flags throughout the cemetery and along 15th Street. The post filed a police report in April on the trailer and the poles, valued at $30 each.
Since a Wednesday story in the Journal-World on the VFW’s plight, Shockey said, the post had received offers of help, and now members believe they can place the larger flags along 15th Street and just inside the cemetery’s entrance.
“The outreach of support that the Lawrence community gave to the VFW in this situation has been very humbling,” he said.
Shockey said the VFW had received donations from the Lawrence Sertoma Club and Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home that helped cover the cost of 25 new poles, which were purchased Thursday.
Now post members are working on preparing the poles to fit the flags and the places in the ground at the cemetery. They also are working on finding a new trailer to help transport the poles to the cemetery.
“We’re going to make our best effort to make it happen,” Shockey said.
He said the post had received offers for other donations as well and plans to pursue raising about $8,500 over a longer term to try to replace all 300 poles and the trailer in time for Memorial Day 2013.