ALLAN SYVERSON: Veterans organizations depend on donations to place flags on veterans’ graves

TO THE EDITOR:

Memorial Day is observed to honor dead veterans of all wars and conflicts as well as others who have sacrificed a portion of their lives to protect you and me.

Their bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet church yard in the land. We cherish tenderly the memory of the heroic dead who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes.

We hope and pray that as free people we have not forgotten the cost of a free and undivided Republic. We gather around their sacred remains and place our dear old flag, which they save from dishonor, at the head of their grave.

The flag whose white stripes symbolize purity of purpose in our freedom. The red stripes of courage — our willingness to die to preserve American ideals. And than the blue of tranquility in which the stars of our states are united.

The veteran organizations of Manistee have always striven to keep this light burning. We’ve depended upon donations from cities and townships to assist us in this endeavor.

Now it appears that Manistee’s government officials’ eyes have grown dull, their hands have gone slack and their hearts have turned cold. They claim that a thousand dollar donation for grave flags is now illegal and have removed us from their budget.

With the help of a private donor, we hope we will have enough funds for this year. It s sad that the city officials don’t respect the veteran. We again will attempt to put a flag on each grave.

However, if your loved one does not have a flag, don’t call the veterans organization but complain to the city hall, the chief financial officer, the city manager or the city attorney. We will gladly give you their phone number.

God bless the veteran, both the living and the dead. God bless their loved ones, who they left behind but still cherish the memories and stand a little straighter and feel a little prouder as they look at the flag marking the veteran’s final resting place.

Msgt. Allan Syverson Ret. USAF

Manistee

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