Monday, May 31, 2004

This is one of the ways you can tell I'm from a small town.

I'm not sure whether it's the county or the city that does it, but every memorial day, the local cub scouts and a whole bunch of other volunteers put up flags through town with the names of all the veterans from the county who have passed away. One flag for each veteran and I don't mean little hand-waving flags either, I'm talking full-sized flags like you would fly over your house.

This has nothing to do with Iraq, Bin Laden or Bush. This is something they've done for years and years.

I've occasionally rode through town to look for the flag dedicated to someone I know, but I've never really paid close attention to the whole display. Yesterday, I was driving through town and started looking to see which war (I don't really know a better way to structure this sentence) was the earliest. WWI was the oldest I could find, which I found odd because surely we had at least a few men from the county that fought in the Spanish-American War. The vast majority of the flags were dedicated to the veterans of the World Wars, with a smattering of Korean and Vietnam memorials.

If you want to go back earlier, there were at least two companies of Infantry and one company of Cavalry raised in the county during the late unpleasentness... but those boys fought under a different flag. I don't know that it would be proper to put their names under a United States flag. They've actually got a memorial day of their own, not that's observed much anymore.

It would not surprise me if there were local men who went north during the war. G Company of the 5th Tennessee Infantry (U.S.) was made up of men from Hamilton county, which is right accross the state line.

Sorry, I went off on a tangent there. I'm glad they put the flags up every year. I hope that the veterans look upon it with satisfaction that, at least in this little corner of the world, they are not forgotten.