FF12 clarifies concerns over American Legion flag poles in cemetery

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CONCORDIA, Kan. (KWCH) Two poles stand at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Concordia Tuesday. One is higher than the other showing how they can expand and shrink. The two poles are only a small part of the final goal which is 200 poles.

The poles will soon have American flags attached to honor more than 600 veterans buried in the Concordia area.

The American Legion said it's spent quite a while fundraising for the new poles but even so, one family says it wasn't prepared for the construction and took to social media to air it's concerns.

"I understand why they would do it and like I'm not against the flag," Samantha Meadows said. "I just I feel like they should have planned it where they were around the graves and not directly in front of people's stones."

Meadows says she comes to the cemetery a lot to visit her father's grave site. Her father, she says, died in a motorcycle accident when she was 10-years-old.

She, and other members of her family say a hole in front of the headstone startled them when they saw it over the weekend.

"I fully support the American Legion and the Avenue of Flags and it's beautiful when they stick it up and I love the tribute," Kristy Jensen said. "But at the same token, do they really need those permanent poles to be in that spot blocking someone's headstone?"

Though the family saw the hole, The American Legion says the hole will not be there long. It will soon be a concrete square holding the permanent poles. The poles are an upgrade, the legion says, and will make it easier for aging veterans to raise the flags without having to haul poles in every year.

The legion says it had no problem adjusting the one flagpole it got a complaint about but says overall, the community has been supportive.

Meadows says she just wants others to be aware of what's going on in case they didn't see anything on Facebook.

"We did go ahead and talk to the city and they did move mine to the side, my dad's. I'm just hoping that all of the other families, if they want to have theirs moved to the side as well, could find out before it's too late."

The legion says it never intended to offend anyone and has had many people proud to have their family's grave stones close to flags. It says it just wanted to upgrade the poles to continue to honor fallen veterans.

The legion also says if you have a loved one with a grave stone in the area where the flags are going, you can contact them and ask for an adjustment. They do ask that you contact them by Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. because they are hoping to get all the poles up by Memorial Day.