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The Avenue of Flags idea was brought to the Centralia Cemetery Advisory Board by Cemetery Advisory Board member Jan Hollis in July 2005. She had seen the display in Neodesha, Kansas and thought it would be nice for Centralia to have an Avenue of Flags Display. The City Cemetery Advisory Board consisting of the following members: Thelma Chandler, Chester Fritch, Jan Hollis, Greg Pauley, Oneda Roberts, Vickie Simmons, and Phyllis Brown. The cemetery board worked closely with several organizations including the VFW Post, the Centralia Flower and Garden Club and area citizens to form the Avenue of Flags Committee. Active members of the committee besides the cemetery board members are: Dennis Mills, Mary Frances George, Marjorie Motley, Don Bobbitt, Don Bagley, and Kathy Colvin. Anyone is welcome to attend the meetings as volunteers are very important to this organization!
Guidelines were prepared to be eligible for a memorial flag to be display for a veteran. The Committee’s goal was to have all the area veterans killed in action (KIA) flags flying by Memorial Day 2006. With community donations and lots of volunteers approximately 120 flags were flying Memorial Day 2006 including 25 KIA flags. As of May 2012 the display has grown to 372 flags.
The display is simply breathtaking and has been known to stop traffic. Weather permitting the flags will fly on Memorial Day weekend through Anchor Festival weekend, July 4th and Veteran’s Day. Volunteers are always welcome to assist with raising and lowering the flags. If you are interested in volunteering with the community project, please contact City Hall, 114 S Rollins, Centralia, MO at (573) 682-2139. Postcard notifications for the flag display schedule are mailed out about two weeks before the scheduled display time. No one is obligated to assist but your help would be greatly appreciated.
Donations are welcome.
Purchasing a flag - please complete the veteran’s information form and submit to the address listed on the form along with your payment of $100.
Blue Star Memorial
The Blue Star Memorial honors service men and women. This program began with the planting of 8,000 Dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs in 1944 as a living memorial to the veterans of World War II. In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted the program and began the Blue Star Highway system, which covers thousands of miles across the United States, including Alaska & Hawaii. A large metal Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way.
The program was expanded to include all men and women who had served, were serving and would serve in the armed services of the United States. Centralia Flower and Garden Club constructed and dedicated our Memorial in the Centralia Cemetery along State Highway 22 on June 30, 2006. Missouri just dedicated its 54th Blue Star Memorial.
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