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GRAFTON, W.Va. – The American Legion of Taylor Co. hosted a flag-raising ceremony on Saturday afternoon to kick off “Veterans Week.”

A total of 50 flags were hoisted and the people who raised them included the mayor, city council, members of VFW, State of Boys and Girls. David L. Robinson, the commander of American Legion Post 12, said there were so many people representing so many groups that he couldn’t list them all. Either way, he said he was grateful to each of them for giving of their time to do something so distinctly Grafton.

“Grafton is known as Memorial City, it is fitting that we are here,” said Robinson. “We have the birthplace of Mother’s Day. We have the oldest Memorial Day Parade in the country, and it’s called the West Virginia Memorial Day Parade. And we have the only two national cemeteries in the state of West Virginia. We are very proud of it. And we want to make sure that when people drive to Grafton they know they are in a patriotic town.

The 50 flag poles used in the ceremony, Robinson said, were recently replaced.

He said the flag poles have always been there in what is known as the city’s flag alley. But, they were so old that they started to look “in rags”.

Flags hoisted in the “alley of flags”

The American Legion, along with local businesses and citizens came together to raise funds and replace the poles. Now they can use them for Veterans Week.

“It’s wonderful to be able to do this,” said Robinson. “I mean, we weren’t sure we were going to get there. But we did it thanks to the generosity of everyone I mentioned. And, we maintain a lot. There is a group of gentlemen who come in to maintain, mow the grass, keep the equipment ready and all that. It is very gratifying for us that this is happening.

According to Robinson, the most important part of Veterans Week is Veterans Day. The town of Grafton will of course host a parade.

Flags lowered at the start of the ceremony

“This Thursday we will have a veterans ceremony at 11 am at Walnut Street National Cemetery,” said Robinson. “And then that night at 6 p.m. there will be a Veterans Day parade through the town of Grafton.”

Robinson said the parade will begin at the B&O depot in the Elks building.

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