Millersburg teen marks Flag Day with special gesture

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MILLERSBURG – Kyle Austin, a 13-year-old Millersburg resident, made a special investment ahead of Flag Day for the local cemetery.

Austin purchased mini American flags for nearly 230 tombstones at Millers Creek Cemetery. He placed more than half of these flags by tombstones on Wednesday with a partial shipment coming for others.

“This is actually the oldest place [in Millersburg] so this is a piece of history,” Austin said. “Some of these people date back to even before World War I. I’m hoping people just realize the value of this place and its culture.”

Austin mows the lawn at the gravesite, a job he began earlier in the year. He paid for the flags with money he's made from his job.

Some of the tombstones commemorate the lives of multiple veterans from World War I and World War II. Austin said this was special to him, as he comes from a family with multiple grandparents and uncles who served in different wars.

“They served this country and they would’ve given their lives for this country,” Austin said. “They need to be respected along with everybody else here.”

Three of Austin’s family members, his sister and two cousins, helped with placing flags on the tombstones. His sister, Rhian Austin, said she was impressed with his brother’s project.

“I never thought he would do something like this, and he is a really great person,” Rhian said. “He loves our country, he loves our family, and he loves these people that are in this graveyard.”

Kyle hopes the project will motivate him and others in the community to invest in larger flags for future holidays, particularly ones with patriotic roots like July 4th and Labor Day.

“These are very small flags, and I want to be able to afford even bigger flags,” Austin said. “I’m just hoping that I’m working a little more here and I will be able to afford them.”

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