Last week, Kevin Dowdy, representing Flint Media and its Southwest Georgia radio stations, led a fundraising campaign to purchase small American flags which are to be placed on the grave-sites of all veterans buried in City of Bainbridge cemeteries. The fundraising effort proved to be a success…over $1,000 in donations were pledged by local citizens within an hour’s time!
In past years, small flags were placed on Veteran’s graves by local Veteran groups, but due to financial concerns these groups have been forced to give up this worthy cause. Mr. Roy Oliver, Assistant City Manager of the City of Bainbridge, has recently taken on the responsibility of locating and marking over 1000 graves of local Veterans.
This is an ongoing task due to the deterioration of the flags from continuous exposure to the elements. Also, if a flag goes missing, there is no way of identifying the grave-site as that of a veteran without close inspection.
Thanks to the generous contributions as a result of the fundraising campaign, the City was able to partner with the Bainbridge Home Depot and the Friendship House of Jesus to come up with a more permanent means of decorating the graves with flags.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Home Depot provided clamps, buckets, handsaws, PVC pipe, and six specially-made miter boxes. Over twenty teenage boys from the Friendship House of Jesus were selected to help with the project. The boys used the miter boxes and handsaws to cut the PVC pipes into 12” pieces. In less than an hour, about 800 smaller pipes had been cut! The PVC pipes will serve as holders for the flags, and will also mark the grave if a flag were to go missing.
The boys were extremely enthusiastic about the project, especially after Friendship House Director Josh Paske explained the importance of remembering and recognizing our Veterans in this special way.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Ben Fuller of Bainbridge–a combat pilot in Vietnam–has been invited to speak at the Friendship House about what it means to be a Veteran. After the short program, the boys will travel to one of the city’s cemeteries to begin placing the PVC pipes and flags on the grave-sites (weather permitting).
You are invited to attend the program at the Friendship House (located at 220 N. Russ Street) at 1:30pm on Wednesday, and afterwards at the cemetery for the placing of the flags.
More photos from Tuesday are located on the City of Bainbridge’s Facebook page: