In reality, 2009 is the 44th Year for the LeMars Avenue of Flags [1965-2009.] Click on the history pages that reveal that the FIRST year was 1965.

Avenue of Flags, LeMars, Iowa -- "Memorial Day"

~Above three photos courtesy volunteer, Mary Holub, LeMars, Iowa

Link to a page from the LeMars Sentinel that gives the 2009 alphabetical list of veterans. There are 1,088 flags now displayed in the LeMars Avenue of Flags on the Plymouth County courthouse grounds!

Flags honor memory of fallen soldiers

LeMars Daily Sentinel, Tuesday, May 26, 2009
By Amy Erickson

(Sentinel photo by Amy Erickson) Members of the American Legion, Wasmer Post #241, Le Mars, participated in the gun salute rifle volley during Monday's Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program.
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Pfc. Jack Brodie was the first Le Mars soldier to die in the Korean War.

Tribute was paid to Brodie, a private first class in the United States Marine Corps, during The Avenue of Flags Memorial Day Program, at the Plymouth County Courthouse Monday.

Brodie, who died at age 19, was the third casualty reported in Plymouth County in the Korean War.

(Sentinel photo by Amy Erickson) Members of Le Mars Municipal Band's flute section played a musical selection during The Avenue of Flags Memorial Day Program Monday at the Plymouth County Courthouse.
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According to a a letter of condolence written by Brodie's combat commander, Brodie died May 27 after he was hit by shrapnel.

Tom Baack, post adjutant of the American Legion Wasmer Post #241, Le Mars, presented Brodie's story.

Baack said letters such as the one Brodie received were often written to next of kin to provide sympathy and details that led to the death of their loved one.

(Sentinel photo by Amy Erickson) Cassidy Pravecek, a Girl Scout with troop 322, carried a white cross to add to the field of crosses at the Plymouth County Courthouse. Pravecek accompanied the family of Richard Hentges as they added a new flag in his memory to the Avenue of Flags Monday during the Memorial Day Program.
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"They are written to help the family cope and understand and they are usually written by the person that gave the operational orders that ended in death," Baack said.

"John will be long remembered by the members of his fire team and his cheerful manner will be greatly missed by his fellow Marines," wrote Lt. Cpl. Glen E. Martin, U.S. Marine Corps.

Martin also wrote of Brodie's integrity and dedication to duty that won him respect from all who knew him.

(Sentinel photo by Magdalene Landegent) Silhouetted by Old Glory, with the dog tags of a U.S. soldier, Jerry Rann, of Oyens, reflects on the Memorial Day message shared during the ceremony at Oyens.
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"Although I realize that mere words can do little to console you in your grief, I earnestly hope that knowing your son is keenly missed by his many friends may in some way alleviate your sadness," Martin wrote.

Brodie's tribute marked the third annual tradition at The Avenue of Flags Memorial Day Program to honor fallen soldiers.

"The Avenue of Flags program was started to recognize deceased veterans by dedicating and flying their flag on Memorial Day," Baack said. "Of the 1,088 flags that were posted this morning, 40 honor service members died during wartime service."

(Sentinel photo by Beverly Van Buskirk) A total of 1,106 flags wave gently in the breeze at the Plymouth County Courthouse lawn Monday afternoon following the morning Memorial Day ceremony. Eighteen new flags were dedicated this year in honor of veterans who served their country. This was the 45th year for the Avenue of Flags at the courthouse.
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In addition to paying tribute to Brodie, the Avenue of Flags roster containing 1,088 names of soldiers who died serving their country was read.

As the names echoed one by one, a man in the crowd, Harley Rollinger, sat with his head bowed. He was a fighter pilot in World War II who earned many honors.

Rollinger, of Le Mars, was also remembering his brother, Donald.

(Sentinel photo by Amy Erickson) Harley Rollinger, of Le Mars, a World War II veteran bows his head as 1,088 names are read from the flag roster during The Annual of Flags Memorial Day Program Monday.
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Veterans with continuous 50-year membership in the American Legion were also recognized.

Those 50-year members include Kenneth Helen, John J. Kessenrich Jr. and Gerald Probst.

Eighteen new flags were added to the roster Monday and those names were read as family and friends added the flags to the Avenue of Flags.

(Sentinel photo by Magdalene Landegent) Pledging their allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, a crowd at the cemetery in Oyens participates in the Memorial Day services held Monday. The Oyens community also dedicated a veteran's memorial.
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The names of those 18 soldiers are: Arden "Lefty" Anderson, Selmer Bergerson, Wendel Carstensen, Cornelius "Casey" Den Ouden, Leo Flaherty, Richard Hentges, Willard Herman, Alfred Janssen, James W. "Jim" Karl Jr., Gerald J. Kenaley, Arthur Q. Larson Jr., Jim C. Munday, Clifford Perry, Donald L. Rollinger, Sherman Shearon, William Thommes, Thomas J.Trobaugh, Russell R. Vosika.

Those in the audience during the program included everyone from children to senior citizens gathered to honor fallen family members.

Karl Feller, who came from Colorado to recognize two of his brothers, appreciated Monday's program. Feller, who is Ralph Keller's brother said they don't come every year but have in the past.

(Photo submitted) Josh Vaske helps his younger brother Isaac Vaske look at the dog tags on one of the flags on the Plymouth County courthouse lawn Monday during the Memorial Day services. Each flag marks the life of a soldier. Both boys are scouts.
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"It's beautiful," Karl Feller said. "They do a fantastic ceremony."






~If you have any other 2009 year photos or stories, please share by emailing the county coordinator.