Flags still flying this weekend at Fort Snelling

Mark Freie
May 24, 2020 - 6:00 am

ID 1787668 © Michael Flippo | Dreamstime.com

Memorial Day weekend is a little different this year at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis because of COVID-19. Restrictions halted any flag-placing efforts over the weekend, which impacts those with Flags for Fort Snelling.

Flags for Fort Snelling began placing flags at every headstone there, totaling close to 200,000 in 2018. Last year, they did the same continuing their 200,000 flags for 200,000 heroes campaign.

"We're honoring individual flag requests this year," said Rocky Borchardt, co-founder of Flags for Fort Snelling. "We'll honor them with just a small collection of flag runners we have."

Around 6,000 volunteers helped put out the 200,000 American flags in 2019. With no organized flag placing allowed this year because of Coronavirus, that number's dwindled as around 1,200 flags will be placed at gravesites.

"Everybody wants to honor the fallen," Borchardt said. "The cemetery wants us there. They like what we do. Unfortunately this year, it's just too risky."

Memorial Day weekend is giving Flags for Fort Snelling an opportunity to secure flags for future memorials. They designed what they call "The Legacy Flag" to develop a permanent flag collection for Fort Snelling.

"We're just waiting for the funds and we can manufacture them in Minnesota as soon as we have the money ready," she said.

The Legacy Flags are retractable and better-built to withstand the harsh Minnesota weather.

"This makes it so we don't have to do constant fundraising," Borchardt said. "Last year we lost around 60,000 of the disposable flags."

The Legacy Flag fundraiser has an $800,000 goal. Here is the link to donate.

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