Welcome to the Memorial Day Edition of the Carnival of Family Life! Today, Cherokee Memorial Park in Lodi presemted the Fifty-Second Annual Avenue of Flags, a beautiful display of American flags that Lodians eagerly anticipate.
Each large flag displayed represents a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who has been laid to rest there and, in most instances, is the actual flag which was draped over the veteran’s casket and presented to his or her family. In addition, a small flag is placed on the grave of each and every veteran who has been laid to rest at Cherokee.
When I was growing up in Lodi, visiting Cherokee to see the flags on display was a family tradition. My father loved to see how the number of flags flown each year increased and, although he rarely spoke of his military service, was visibly moved each year when he surveyed the rows of flags along the streets dividing the various sections of the memorial park.
So there was no discussion needed after his death on January 18, 1992. My mother was eager to honor his wish that the flag which covered his casket and was presented to her during his funeral, at which he was accorded full military honors for his service as a member of the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, be donated and displayed each year. Since my parents are now both interred at Cherokee Memorial Park, I continue the tradition of surveying the pageant of flags each Memorial Day and proudly locating my father’s flag, which is made possible by the program that the cemetery prints and distributes as you enter the grounds. I estimated approximately 1,000 flags flying in honor of individual veterans today.