VFW seeks donations to help pay for flags, markers on vets’ graves

Photos by Tom Rivers: These flags are shown this morning near the veterans’ section at Mount Albion Cemetery.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2023 at 9:36 am

ALBION – The VFW and American Legion work together each year to place more than 2,000 flags on veterans’ graves at cemeteries in the Albion area.

Most of those flags are placed at Mount Albion Cemetery and St. Joseph’s Cemetery, with lots of assistance from local Scouts. But the VFW and Legion also place flags at smaller cemeteries in central Orleans County – about 2,500 flags altogether.

Mike Donahue, commander of the VFW based in Albion, said it costs about $3,300 to purchase the flags and also some markers for the veterans’ graves. The flags are $1.15 each and the markers are $42.

Donahue is asking the Village of Albion and the four towns in central Orleans – Albion, Barre, Carlton and Gaines – to contribute to the expense.

He attended the Village Board meeting on Wednesday. The village has $150 budgeted to give to the American Legion and the VFW. Board members want more explanation if those funds have typically been used for flags or another effort by the veterans’ organizations.

Donahue said the VFW and Legion haven’t pressed the municipalities for support in recent years.

“With Covid everything went to pieces and we’re trying to get back,” Donahue told the Village Board.

Joyce Riley, the deputy mayor, thanked Donahue, the VFW and Legion for their efforts to honor local veterans.

Anyone interested in donating to buy flags and markers can mail a check to the VFW, 38 Platt St., Albion, NY 14411.

These flags are at the veterans’ companion section of Mount Albion. The VFW and American Legion work team with local Scouts to place about 2,000 flags on veterans’ graves at Mount Albion and St. Joseph’s Cemetery.