Raising the flags

Volunteers help decorate cemetery for Memorial Day

Andy Christinsen and his daughts Emma and Abby volunteered to help raise flags in the veteran section of the New Ulm Cemetery.

NEW ULM — Over 40 volunteers helped set up the Avenue of Flags at the New Ulm Cemetery Saturday.

The Avenue of Flags features 450 American flags displayed along Cemetery Avenue and in the Veteran’s memorial section of the cemetery.

The volunteers began raising flags at noon. By 1 p.m. most of the flags were up and flowing in the breeze. Volunteer Gary Wiltscheck said two people could place a flag pole within a minute if the slot was clear.

The New Ulm Cemetery has a long history of celebrating the Memorial Day. A hundred years ago before the holiday was officially called Memorial Day, New Ulm held a special service in the cemetery to honor fallen soldiers from the Civil War and Spanish-American War.

The Avenue of Flags has been part of New Ulm’s Memorial Day programming since 1976. The first year only 100 flags were raised, but the number has expanded over the last four decades.

Around 450 American flags were placed in the New Ulm cemetery Saturday afternoon. The Avenue of Flags will be on display through the Memorial Day holiday.

Wiltscheck said extra poles and flags are available, but there are not enough holes to display them all. Additional flag slots could be added before next year’s Memorial Day.

Weather permitting the annual Memorial Day program will be held at the cemetery at 10 a.m. Monday. If not, it will be held at the New Ulm Community Center at 600 N. German St.

The flags will remain on display at the cemetery until Tuesday.