CAMERON, W.Va. (WTRF) – There will be Memorial Day services across the Ohio Valley on Monday, but there’s one with a backdrop unlike any other.
When the Cameron community gathers, it will be among a Field of Flags.
There’s a lot of patriotism here. There’s a lot of veterans in this town.Jim Rogers, Cameron American Legion Post 18
There’s also a lot of people who want to honor and remember their sacrifice.
It’s all about veterans and sometimes they get lost in the shuffle and those people spent a lot of time away from home and they gave a lot.Jim Rogers, Cameron American Legion Post 18
Cameron American Legion Post 18 has been setting up the Field of Flags in Veterans Park for the last five years. Rogers, who is also a veteran, says it started as a way to help maintain the park.
I saw it in the American Legion magazine where the’d done this in Indiana and they called it the ‘Field of Flags’, but they had the real big one and they had like two acres to work with, so what do we do? So we designed this what we have here. We felt if we got a hundred the first year we were doing pretty good. People were hesitant, but we got 353.Jim Rogers, Cameron American Legion Post 18
Each flag marked with the name of a hero, and the number keeps growing.
If people want to recognize a veteran we’ll do it, but to say we’re going to try for a thousand or whatever, that’s not what I’m here for. We’re here to take care of this community and this area surrounding us.Jim Rogers, Cameron American Legion Post 18
This year’s patriotic display features 1,122 flags.
In fact, there are so many that Post 18 had to place a few flags on the grass across the street outside of the Auxiliary Building. Rogers said they’ll continue to fill that space up next year if there are more veterans to honor.
No matter where you live, we wouldn’t have our freedom if it wouldn’t be for these people and a lot of them are gone. A lot of them have passed away, but I never want them to be forgotten.Larry Santee, Veteran
While Memorial Day is meant to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, Cameron American Legion Post 18 and its group of volunteers who put up the flags choose to also honor all veterans.
Being a small community we can’t do this the 4th of July, so we decided to go ahead and we honor all veterans past and present. We have from the Revolutionary War to present duty right now.Jim Rogers, Cameron American Legion Post 18
A group of 31 volunteers helped place the flags in these neatly spaced rows, making sure the tribute was fitting.
There was no complaints. We worked in the rain. It was humid. Nobody complained. Nobody complained about anything. When they left they all had a smile on their face and they all had a good feeling in their heart.Jim Rogers, Cameron American Legion Post 18
That’s how a way to maintain the park turned into a mission to keep the memory of our veterans alive.
In this day and age, with what’s going on in this country, it’s terrible, but you take something like this it’s positive and that’s what I’m looking for.Jim Rogers, Cameron American Legion Post 18
I come out here to pay honor to all the people who served and God bless them. It’s an honor just to be here to pay my honor to them.Larry Santee, Veteran
Cameron American Legion Post 18 will keep the Field of Flags up until June 2 for the community and visitors to see.
They also say all are welcome for the Memorial Day service on Monday at 11:00 a.m. at Veterans Park.