GR answers police sergeant’s call for graveside flags

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Police officers are normally the ones answering calls for help, but the tables turned when a Grand Rapids Police Department sergeant noticed a need. 

GRPD Sgt. Allen Noles patrols the Northeast Service area of the city. While driving through the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans Cemetery along Monroe Avenue, he noticed lots of graves missing flags just days before Memorial Day weekend. 

“This year, this cemetery, which has over 5,400 graves had only 200 flags posted yesterday. I came out on one of my breaks and posted some flags,” Noles said in a video posted to Facebook.

Noles said that typically organizations hold events to put out flags, but plans were impeded by COVID-19 this year. So he put out a plea for help on social media.

“Well, the response was tremendous and as we speak, some of the last flags are being posted in this cemetery,” Noles said.

Strangers stepped up and in less than 24 hours, more than 5,000 flags were distributed, honoring all the veterans buried the Grand Rapids Home for Veteran’s Cemetery. Volunteers then continued the effort at other area cemeteries.

Flags posted at the cemetery at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. (May 24, 2021)

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