A local man wants to pay tribute to veterans buried in local cemeteries by placing Canadian flags on their graves.
Ian Millar says there are seven flags on flat or standing gravestones in the city’s old Kitsumgallum cemetery and 13 in its new one but there’s about 100 gravestones in total that should have flags on them.
The flags are staked into the ground beside the gravestones and also have the legion logo in brass on them.
“What we’re trying to do is to get every person who served in the military or RCMP a marker and the flag, and for us it doesn’t matter if they’re a legion member or not,” he said, adding that includes all military veterans.
There’s also candles that will be put out on the graves on Remembrance Day and left to burn until sunset, he added, saying they will be put out on military gravestones whether or not they have the flag.
The flags cost $45 each and the public can buy one for a family member’s grave or donate the money for a flag, said Millar.
Neither the federal nor provincial governments pay for the flags, it’s just something that Millar wanted to start so everybody who goes to the cemeteries can see the military members who served for them.
Millar got started with the flag project, named No Stone Left Alone, after learning of the No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation, now in its sixth year, which seeks to place a poppy on the headstone of each veteran on Remembrance Day.
He decided he wanted something more permanent.
Millar’s wife Lori came up with the idea for the flags after her friend and member of the military, John Shaw, passed away.
He was buried in the new cemetery in the legion area but didn’t have any family here so she thought of placing a flag on his grave.
A deal was struck with the city to leave the flags up until Nov. 12 even if it snows before then and to take then down after Nov. 12 when it does snow.
And Millar will put them back out in the spring when the snow is gone.
A family who buys one for a family member can have the person’s name engraved on the back of the insignia; Millar will do it with his own engraver.
He would like to replace the flags when they become worn from the weather, ideally every two or three years if he can.
Anyone who’d like to donate money for a flag or to buy one, can stop by Branch 13 of the Royal Canadian Legion here or email Millar at firstname.lastname@example.org.