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New life for Old Glory at Memorial Day service
Memorial Day pic
The colors are presented at the annual Turlock community Memorial Day celebration at Turlock Memorial Park by the VFW Post 5059 color guard. - photo by Journal file photo

Old Glory will look just a little more glorious this weekend as the hundreds of American flags that line the path through Turlock Memorial Park in honor of the community's fallen service members have been given new life,  thanks to the Adopt a Flag campaign.

"We started the Adopt a Flag campaign last November and it has been our first venture in replacing weathered and tattered flags that need to be retired," said Scott Atherton, Turlock Memorial Park and Funeral Home general manager.

So far, 225 flags have been either replaced or refurbished just in time for the cemetery's annual Memorial Day service.

"We got a very positive response," said Atherton. "The response came from individuals, service organizations, businesses, the VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and Covenant Village. The Turlock Quilt Club also repaired a number of the flags. It was a big effort by different folks."

This will be the 51st year of having the Avenue of Flags, otherwise known as Veterans Memorial Lane, but Turlock Memorial Park has hosted Memorial Day services long before that.

"There were services 100 years ago, back when it was called Decoration Day," said Atherton.

This year's Memorial Day services will start with a prelude performed by the Hilmar Community Band at 9:30 a.m. and ceremonies starting at 10 a.m. Monday. The event will honor those military personnel from every branch of the United States armed forces who gave their lives in time of war. Hundreds of flags will be placed on gravestones, as well as the cemetery's pathways to commemorate the holiday. Members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans will be a part of the service.

Turlock Vice Mayor Forrest White and Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen are scheduled to attend the event and Admiral Mike Seward of the U.S. Coast Guard will be the featured speaker.

Turlock Memorial Park is located at 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock.