MARQUETTE - This Veterans Day, weather permitting, the Veterans Memorial Mall in Marquette will be lined with eight-foot tall American flags thanks to the efforts of American Legion Post 44 in Marquette.
The post is hoping to sell more flags to make the display even grander this time around.
The post will be selling the flags - which each include a small plaque of dedication - with the proceeds going to Legion projects like Boys State, said Pete Shelafoe, chairman of the post's Avenue of Flags and a past post commander.
Flags line the Veterans Memorial Mall on a recent holiday. (Pete Shelafoe photo)
Avenue of Flags - Pete Shelafoe holds an American flag that will be part of the special display at the Veterans Memorial Mall in Marquette on Veterans Day. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)
This is an example of the plaque that is put on the American Legion flags that will be on display on Veterans Day and other holidays during the year. The public is encouraged to buy flags that will become part of the flag display. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)
"It will be two years this coming Memorial Day since we started the flag project," Shelafoe said. "We've sold 41 so far, which I think is pretty good."
The 3-foot by 5-foot flags' rods are placed into PVC pipes in the ground along the sidewalks toward the mall's fountains, with the rest lined up along Washington Street.
"We have no set number of flags we can have," Shelafoe said. "We will set them up depending on how many we end up with. And on the fountain, we have the five flags representing the branches of the armed forces."
While flags dedicated to veterans are certainly welcome, the project is not limited to them.
"People can buy a flag and put what they want on them, in memory or in honor," Shelafoe said. "You can buy one in honor of your family. Anyone can purchase one."
The flags are put up on Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day, he said.
"We put them up at around 8 a.m. those days and take them down around 7 p.m. or so," Shelafoe said.
Anyone interested in purchasing a flag, which cost $50, can contact Shelafoe at 226-9426 or the American Legion Post at 225-0781, mentioning Shelafoe's name and the flag project when leaving a message.
Flags purchased by Nov. 4 will be included in the Nov. 11 Veterans Day display. Shelafoe said people are encouraged to visit the Veterans Memorial Mall in Harlow Park on that day to see the flags and to honor those to whom they are dedicated.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.