Township and veterans divided over cemetery flags

11:59 PM, Dec 7, 2012   |    comments
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The Legion is asking Cascade Township to again provide the flags for veterans' graves. But they must stay up until after Veteran's Day on November 11.

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) - American Legion Post 452 Vice-Commander Wayne Quint says there are better ways for Cascade Township to cut costs than spending less on flags for the graves of veterans.

"Saving a buck on a dead veteran is not the way to go," says Quint.

Every spring for decades, Cascade Township provided flags for the Legion to place by the graves of veterans in the township's three cemeteries.

"We've always been willing to buy the flags for the veterans' graves," says Cascade Township Clerk Ron Goodyke.

But a few years ago, the Legion stopped taking flags from Cascade Township. They found a different donor because instead of leaving the flags in place until Veterans Day in November, the township was removing them after July 4.

"Mr. Goodyke actually told me he wanted to save money by using the flags more than one year and that's why he wanted to bring them in earlier," says Quint.

"The money has not been the issue," disagrees Goodyke. "The issue is how we maintain the cemetery with all those flags in there. We felt taking the flags down after July 4  prevented them from being weather-beaten. It was almost a disservice to leave those flags out there to get soiled."

Now that a few years have passed, the Legion is asking Cascade Township to again provide the flags for veterans' graves. But they must  stay up until after Veteran's Day on November 11.

The township clerk says he thinks there is room for a compromise if Legion volunteers promise to remove any tattered, soiled flags.

'If they agree to police the area every couple weeks and replace the flags that look bad, that would change my opinion," says Goodyke.

"I don't mind checking things out," says Quint. "We don't want to see a tattered flag out here. We fought for that flag. A flag on our grave shouldn't be a big thing. Show respect for us after we are dead."

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