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Avenue of Flags, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Video taken in May 25, 2020, Memorial Day

Video taken in July 4, 2017, Independence Day

May 25, 2020, Memorial Day

Cape Girardeau County Park North

The Avenue of Flags by VFW Post 3838 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (Find on Facebook)

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

Each flag represents a Cape Girardeau County resident who has served their country and either died in the line of duty or post service.












July 4, 2019, Independence Day

After my experience in 2018 taking photos of the ceremony, in 2019 I wanted to focus more on the elements of the Avenue of Flags that honored the individuals, including the stones and structures listing names and branches of the military. 2019 was the first year with the lights shining at night allowing the flags to be flown more than one day.












I went twice on this day, once in the morning and once in the evening so I could capture the flags under the new lights at night.













May 27, 2018, Memorial Day

I arrived early in 2018 to take solace in the quiet morning hours, just me and my camera, the flags and my patriotic appreciations. I had not showered, done my hair, and had on ragedy clothes. I was hopeful that early in the morning I would not see many people. As the flags were being placed, I found myself being requested to take photos of the families whose flags were being added and honored because the regular photographer was not able to appear. What a wonderful thing that the VFW does for these families. I think the photos I share here tell the story and I do not need to say more. It was a great honor to take photos for these families to preserve their memories and the memories of their loved ones. I do not like being the center of attention, but found myself being in the middle of it all. I so much wanted to be able to sneak away and take photos inconspicuously from the corner of the scene. I felt quite conflicted being both honored to help and yet not wanting to be so visible. Click here for a .pdf of family photos. When the morning was over, my camera card was loaded with more photos than I had time to go through. Here it is 2021 and I am finally finding the time to share some never before seen photos as I create this website page. Enjoy.




































July 4, 2017, Independence Day

This is just a small part of the Avenue of Flags in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Many people drive through it each time which is an amazing sight in and of itself, but I suggest at least one time to walk it. Reading the names on each flag pole of the deceased Cape Girardeau County veterans brings a different perspective of the enormity of sacrifice gifted by individuals for our freedom. In 2017, 621 flags were displayed. [Note, this photo is by far the favorite photo of the park I have ever shared, being shared unimaginable times across the world.]

7/4/17 As I was walking the Cape Girardeau Avenue of Flags this morning, I noticed one flag that seemed to be more worn than the other flags. It made me think of the physically and mentally worn out soldiers who give their every and all each and every day so unselfishly. The texture of the linen, the way I could see through the fabric, and the unraveling of the stitches, reminds me that soldiers are in the here and now, at this very moment exemplifying strength through adversity all over this world, for me, someone they do not know other than a fellow American. I wish to thank them today. I hope they can hear the hearts of thanks from their countrymen today.

Each name on a pole includes the campaign and date of death. The flags are flown 5 times a year, on Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Flag Day (June 4), Independence Day (July 4), Patriot Day (Sept 11), and Veterans Day (Nov 11). Some of the flags are the same ones that were draped over coffins. The Avenue of Flags is a coordinated effort between VFW Post 3838 in Cape Girardeau and Cape Girardeau County. The Avenue of Flags began Memorial Day 1987.

The Avenue of Flags, each with a deceased veterans name, gets long and longer. It now wraps around to the main road at Cape County Park north. I could spy the holes ready for future flags, which spoke volumes.








These photos were taken July 4, 2010, Independence Day.

















Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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