05/15/13 — Pikeville American Legion to raise flag over cemetery

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Pikeville American Legion to raise flag over cemetery

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 15, 2013 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Old Glory will once again fly over the town cemetery thanks to the efforts of Pikeville American Legion Post 541.

The public is invited to a a flag-raising ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the cemetery when new U.S. and Prisoner of War flags will be hoisted.

"We are going to honor all of the Armed Forces (veterans buried) there," said James Carter, Pikeville American Legion Post 541 commander. "The public is invited, especially the families of the deceased veterans."

The Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Color Guard is scheduled to raise the flags. The ceremony will include the playing of taps. A bagpiper is scheduled to play as well.

Plans for the cemetery project and fundraiser were announced by Carter in January. It involved refurbishing the flagpole and identifying the graves of veterans, some dating back to the War Between the States.

Rose Covin with the Pikeville library was invaluable with research in identifying the graves of veterans, some of which were not marked, Carter said. The post has purchased quarter-sized decals to place on grave markers that identify the grave as that of a veteran.

The post was able to purchase small U.S. flags that will be placed on the veterans' graves on May 25 in observance of Memorial Day on May 27.

As far as anyone knows, unless it has been done by family, in the past no one has placed flags in observance of Veterans Day or Memorial Day, Carter said.

No ceremony has been planned for Memorial Day at the cemetery, but Carter hopes that one can be held next year.

The post members meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Pikeville Community Center. Veterans are invited, and are encouraged to join the organization.