Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

'Mistake' resulted in vets' flag postings


May 30, 2019

The Rev. Bob Ingalls in his address Monday at the Colfax Memorial Day observance at the cemetery noted the big addition to the grounds, which was posting of flags on the graves of known veterans buried at the cemetery, was the end result of a mistake.

The graves of 755 veterans were posted with individual U.S. flags for the weekend as the result of a research project conducted by Jim Lemon and Cherry Alice Van Tine.

Ingalls noted the start of a Wreaths Across America observance, in which 120 wreaths were ordered and posted on graves at Steptoe last Christmas season, involved a mistake in which a second batch of 120 wreaths was shipped. Steptoe opted to donate the extra 120 wreaths to the Colfax Cemetery. At that point, Colfax realized it didn't have a roster and location map of veterans buried in the cemetery.

The research led to a listing of 755 total veterans in the cemetery, and a small flag was posted at each grave.

The large flags posted along the cemetery lanes are funeral memorial flags donated by families of deceased veterans. That count now totals 281 flags which are posted with the names of the veteran and the branch of service recognized.

Colfax FFA members Cole Baerlocher, Perry Imler, Gunnar Aune and Cotton Booker hosted the ceremony. Craig and Kristina Willson sang several selections during the ceremony.

Request to report those missed

Jim Lemon of Colfax urges families who discovered a flag was not posted at the graves of known veterans at the cemetery to contact him so the graves can be included on the roster for posting next year. Lemon noted the research process to list and locate veterans’ graves at the cemetery could have overlooked some graves, and he welcomes any additions that should be made.

He can be contacted at 509-595-5006.


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