Columbiana American Legion to place flags on graves Saturday

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

Every year, the Columbiana chapter of the American Legion, known as Post 131, honors the fallen by placing flags on the graves of their own.

This year will be no different as they make plans to follow through with tradition on May 23, and as part of that tradition, they are looking for community members who might like to help.

“We want the community to know that this will be a safe gathering that will be easy to keep to social distancing guidelines,” post commander Sam Horton said.

Placing flags on the graves of servicemen naturally lends itself to social distancing, in fact. Each person will be able to collect the flags they need at a station that is low risk and will be given a list of names that can be found on the headstones of each of the cemeteries where the flags will be placed.

This year, the men and women of Post 131 are focusing on the historic Bolton Cemetery in Columbiana and the Spring Hill Cemetery on Alabama 25, between Columbiana and Calera.

Any community members interested in helping can meet in the parking lot of Bolton Funeral Home on Highway 47 in Columbiana at 9 a.m. the morning of May 23 to get instructions on how to help.

Visitors will also get the treat of seeing the local chapter inducting two young new members, both former Marines, into their ranks.

“We haven’t been able to meet due to the pandemic, so it will be good to add these two young members who are ready to jump in when we all get together for one of our most important traditions,” Horton said.

As usual, they have plans to also include the local Boy Scout Troop in the event as well, making it a chance to teach the generation coming up about the importance of honoring those who served and gave their lives for our country.

As are so many organizations in the county, the American Legion is watching the COVID-19 situation closely and forming possible plans to begin moving forward in the “new normal” that virtually everyone is talking about.

They are more than ready to get to the work they are known for: “Veterans helping veterans.”

If you have questions about joining Post 131, you can reach out to Sam Horton at (205) 572-2115.