Centralia honors service members for Memorial Day

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CENTRALIA- At the City of Centralia Cemetery, flag after flag lines the roads to honor those who served in the military.

In all, volunteers planted or strung up more than 1,000 flags for Memorial Day Weekend.

Every flag represents a deceased veteran, with tags denoting the name, branch and military rank of each one.

Ceremony coordinator Dennis Mills said the ceremony started around ten years ago when a Centralia resident brought the idea to the City Cemetery Advisory Board.

He said the more people found out about it, the more flags kept being added and it took off to what it is now.

"I hear from people who are from other towns. I heard from a lady from Illinois who said it's about the prettiest thing that she's ever seen. We've had nothing but good response from it all." Mills said.

Mills has a personal connection with the ceremony and said many of the volunteers do as well. 

"It means a lot to me because I'm doing it for a veteran who is no longer here. I've got seven friends that I went to school with, and were killed in action in Vietnam, and it means all the world to me just to have their name up there," said Mills.

Volunteers also put up the flags for Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, and the Fourth of July.

Mills and other coordinators hope to continue to grow the ceremony and said it may eventually expand to a neighboring cemetery as well if more flags are added.

The flags will continue to fly until June 1 and will be on display for the Anchor Festival next weekend.