One of the most moving sights you will see in Peabody is the Avenue of Flags out at Prairie Lawn Cemetery every Memorial Day weekend. The Avenue of Flags, with its close proximity to U.S. 50, has gained a following amongst highway travelers, especially at night when the flags are lighted and blowing gently in the spring breeze.
Several years ago on a trip to see my mother and sister in Colorado, I stopped at a gas station in Limon, Colo., to get gas and a fountain drink. I was wearing a t-shirt with the Peabody American Legion logo and a picture of the Avenue of Flags. As he took my money, the attendant at the travel plaza said to me, “Oh, I have seen that Avenue of Flags. Are you from that town?”
When I told him yes, he said that the year before he had been on his way from Kansas City to Wichita to take his mother to a Memorial Day gathering and they had driven through Peabody on U.S. 50. He said, “That is really a moving sight from the highway after dark. Your town does a great job honoring your veterans.”
I thanked him for the compliment and told him it was not really the community that was responsible for the patriotic display, but the members of our American Legion post. “They raise the money to fund it and install the lighting and they provide the labor every year to have the flags flying for the entire holiday weekend,” I said.
There is a slight problem looming on the horizon for the Avenue of Flags, however. The members of Post 95 are getting older and many have died in the years since the project began. Moreover, the display has grown to more than 200 flags so it takes more volunteers to get the flags installed and then removed four or five days later.
Now please do not get me in trouble by leaping to the conclusion that the Legion members are planning to quit installing the flags — do not! What they need is some help. Peabody-Burns football coach David Pickens takes a crew of football boys out to help with the project every year and the Legion members are grateful to have the young men assisting. However, they could use more.
If you could contribute a couple of hours to help them put the display up or take it down, they would appreciate it. Contact any American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, or Legion Auxiliary member for more information.
Our veterans gave a great deal for us; we should be willing to contribute a few hours to give something back to them. Honoring them with the Avenue of Flags at Prairie Lawn Cemetery is a great way to do just that!
— SUSAN MARSHALL