After flying on holidays for nearly 50 years, the War Veteran Flag Display at the Grundy County Courthouse will receive a facelift this Memorial Day. The flags have flown in memory of those Grundy County veterans, but in the condition they are in, they no longer bring the honor to the veteran that they deserve.
In a ceremony that will begin at 7:00 am on Monday, May 29th in the parking area at the Grundy County Courthouse, a veteran flag will be retired prior to the new flags being put up. The public is invited to attend the ceremony.
In an effort spearheaded by the Kiwanis Club and funded by Trenton Elks Lodge, Kiwanis, Rotary, and Lions Clubs, the current veteran flags have been replaced with brand new flags that are the same size as the previous ones. The new flags are polyester flags which will weather better and allow them to be flown in windier conditions than in past years.
Renovations at the Grundy County Courthouse over the years have reduced the space for the flag display. As a result of the reduced space and to make additional room for flags to be flown in memory of deceased veterans who served during the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars, veterans who served during WW1 will have one flag flown in their memory with a plaque that contains the original flag nameplates of those veterans to be displayed in the Grundy County Courthouse. Current WWII, Korean, and Vietnam deceased war veterans will continue to be flown in their memory.
There is still a limited amount of space to display flags. If a family of a deceased war veteran would like to place a flag in service, they are encouraged to contact Kara Helmandollar, Kiwanis Club President, or Jeb Walker, Kiwanis Club Vice-President, and project co-chair, to see if their veteran meets the criteria and to begin that process of placement. The deceased veteran needs to have been a resident of Grundy County and to have served in any war in WWII and later. A $50 contribution is requested to cover the cost of the flag and plaque but is not required.
The original flags, which will be retired Monday, will be made available for surviving family members to re-claim by contacting Helmandollar at 660-359-5966. Flags will be available through Labor Day at which time all unclaimed flags will be destroyed according to US Flag Code.
Kiwanis, Rotary, Elks, Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, and Lions Club members currently are responsible for putting flags up on designated holidays. The Kiwanis Club is currently looking for an organization, business, or church that is willing to ensure that flags are put up, taken down, and stored away for the Independence Day holiday. This would be a yearly effort on their part. Interested groups may contact Helmandollar at 660-359-5966 for further information.