A St. Clairsville VFW post has a tradition of placing flags on veterans’ graves in seven different cemeteries.
But at one of those cemeteries, they find themselves literally locked out, and time is running out for them to be able to carry out their respectful ritual.
The Crabapple Cemetery outside Uniontown in rural Belmont County is gated and locked. The grass has grown knee high and beyond.
The graves date back to the early 1800s, and many are those of veterans. The VFW is being told the cemetery is owned by a private trust.
All they want is to be let in to place some flags.
“To see this condition where the gate’s been locked for two years, it’s sad,” said Shorty Wehr, past president of VFW Post 5356. “We can’t get in to put the flags on. And I feel for the families. They may want to come and put some flowers at that person’s grave. And there are veterans buried in there, men and women. And I think it’s just a disgrace to allow this to happen.”
The VFW group traditionally places the flags at all seven cemeteries on the day before Memorial Day.
So time is running out. All they want is for someone to unlock the gate and let them go in.
Anyone with information about the Crabapple Cemetery is urged to call the VFW at (740) 695-4343 and leave a message for Shorty Wehr.