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Remembering the Fallen

‘Flags4Vets’ faithfully places
flags on graves of veterans

The organization has
placed flags on graves since 2007

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (July 2011) – Crestwood resident Fred Moore has a very ambitious vision for the future: He would like to see memorial flags placed in every state and foreign country where American soldiers are buried.
Luckily, he is not alone in this endeavor. Moore has organized and is executive director of Flags4Vets, a national organization that will never let our heroes die.
As with many non-profits, Moore has a personal connection to his organization. He, too, is a veteran, having served as a Medical Corpsman with the First and Third Marine Division from 1968 to 1974. He sees Flags4Vets “as a continuation of taking care of our troops.”

Fred Moore

Photo provided

Oldham Country’s Fred Moore leads
the effort to honor those
who fought and died.

The organization has placed U.S. flags on the graves of U.S. veterans in 28 states since its inception in 2007.
Moore, 62, is afraid people are going to forget how much our veterans have sacrificed for their country. There are 25 national and federal cemeteries in other countries, he said. These cemeteries contain the bodies of “troops that we couldn’t bring home, so they were buried overseas.”
And there are many veterans buried in the state of Kentucky that the general public has no knowledge of as well. There is a huge federal cemetery in the back of Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville that contains 6,000 graves, said Moore. The Michigan native co-chairs the Volunteer Committee of the Congressional Medal of Honor Convention.
To the best of his knowledge, “No flag has been placed on any of these graves for Veteran’s Day in the history of Cave Hill Cemetery.” There are 550 to 600 graves that contain unknown soldiers. “People need to get together and change things or they’ll forget.”
Flags4Vets is responsible for raising money to buy the small flags that volunteers place on veteran’s graves on Memorial Day and Labor Day each year. With the current economy, it’s not easy to find sponsors or donations, but every little bit helps the 501-c3 organization.
“We need significant anchor sponsors,” he said, to continue the mission of flag placement. Humana and B.J.’s Restaurant and Brewhouse are major contributors to the organization, allowing Flags4Vets to honor veterans each year.
The Louisville area has a data base of about 2600 volunteers, Moore said. When its time for local cemeteries to be adorned with flags, many volunteers come in from surrounding states to help with the task.
This past Memorial Day, “We placed 35,000 flags in the letters “USA” on the great lawn at Waterfront Park, covering an area equivalent to six football fields,” said volunteer Bill Carr. This event, known as a “Flag-In,” was one of many in which he has participated.
“I have been an advocate for veteran’s affairs, both nationally and on the state level for close to 50 years now,” said Carr. He has served on the organization’s Advisory Board along with Heather French Henry (Miss America 2000) and Wayne Hettinger, well-known locally as the producer and director of Thunder Over Louisville.
During the Flag-In at Waterfront Park, Carr said “We were honored to have the 9/11 Traveling Memorial that will be permanently housed in Indianapolis and dedicated on Sept. 11, 2011, as part of our event this year.”
This year will mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and as a result, Flags4Vets is working with the Metro Louisville Mayor’s office to host a special event at Waterfront Park. Plans call for a steel beam from Ground Zero of the World Trade Center to be installed in Jefferson Square as a permanent memorial to that fateful day in American history.
In addition to donations, the organization needs volunteers to help place flags. Moore said that in the past, once flags have been removed after ceremonies, Oldham County High School students have helped clean the flags and store them, learning a valuable lesson at the same time.
The sole mission of Flags4Vets is to honor all veterans who have served this country, both in wartime and peacetime, said Carr. “It is such a pleasure to see hundreds, maybe thousands of adults and children come out on these two holidays to work as volunteers in building flag displays and placement of flags on veteran’s graves.”
The organization is working hard to provide continuous recognition of veteran service to the United States. And like Moore, this is Carr’s personal mission as well, “to make sure the story and the recognition of those who have served never ends.”

• For more information, visit: www.Flags4Vets.com.

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