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Flags set for township veterans

April 23, 2014 - Atlas Twp.-About 150 area armed forces men and women will receive a much deserved honor this Memorial Day.

On March 6, township officials first proposed at a budget work session to purchase the flags and holders for veterans interred in the Atlas Community Baptist Church Cemetery, Goodrich Cemetery, Greenwood Cemetery, Horton Cemetery, Sandborn Cemetery and the Sweers Cemetery.

On Monday night township officials moved forward with the project, earmarking 133 flags for the Goodrich Cemetery, five in the Horton Cemetery and one at the Sandborn Cemetery. Veterans at the Greenwood and Sweers cemeteries are still being researched.

"Volunteers have stepped forward to install the flag and holder at each designated grave," said Shirley Kautman-Jones, township supervisor. "Our greatest challenge is to establish where the veterans are buried and which war they participated in. Our records may not be complete, so the public can help by letting us know."

The township has opted to use Thermoplastic memorial markers.

"The possibility of theft utilizing brass memorial markers is far too great," added Kautman-Jones. "The Thermoplastic markers look great. We are also in the process of determining which war the veterans participated in during their service."

Public Act 63 of 1915 requires a petition of five eligible voters for a municipality such as Atlas Township to provide a U.S. flag and flag holder for the grave of each veteran who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and is buried within the limits of a cemetery belonging to the city, village, or township. There is no authority in law for a local unit of government to provide the same service for its veterans who are buried in other cemeteries, either private or religious.

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