The Veterans and Friends Cemetery Flag Project Continuing Its Mission
One local organization is working hard to honor all veterans by trying to have a U.S. flag flying in every cemetery where a veteran is laid to rest. Known as The Veterans and Friends Cemetery Flag Project, the group’s co-founder Russell LaMarche said it all started with a broken flagpole in Marion Township Cemetery near Mauston. “The flagpole was broken laying on the ground, and the flag was tattered and torn. I picked up the flag pole, leaned it against a tree, removed the flag, and took it for proper disposal,” said LaMarche. “I then took that flag down to the Brown Bar and some of my friends were in there and I raised that flag up and held it in front of them and I said ‘Look at what someone did to this flag, and we got to do something.” LaMarche said the project started small, leaving jugs at local taverns with a note saying what it was, what it was for and then the project took off. It has been very successful so far as the group has completed raising lighted flagpoles in 11 cemeteries in Juneau and Adams counties. LaMarche said this was possible because of the many organizations have helped out. “The tavern league has been a big help, the Lions Club has been a big help, and Carl’s Bight Stop raised $2,000 to our funds.” This is only the beginning of the project. LaMarche said that he would like to see legislation passed so that flags are flying in every cemetery, not only in the state, but the whole country. La Marche has approached Senator Julie Lassa and she is working with Senator Joan Ballweg on the legislation. “It’s going to be a long time, but we’re getting there,”said LaMarche. The next cemetery the group is working on is in Lyndon Station. For information on how to donate, call LaMarch at 608-584-4497 or email the group at email@example.com.
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