Flagpole fundraising campaign gets Saline City Council OK
Lisa Allmendinger | AnnArbor.com
Monday night, they got the blessing of the Saline City Council to begin a fundraising campaign to replace the flag that’s currently in the city’s Oakwood Cemetery, where Monday’s Memorial Day ceremonies will take place.
Through the project dubbed 'What So Proudly We Hail,” the three men plan to raise funds to buy a “white powder coated pole,” improve the lighting for the pole and have enough funds left over for a maintenance contract, which would include replacement of the flag three times a year.
“We see that cemetery, we look for that flag and it should be a beacon to draw you to that cemetery,” Belaire said, adding that the city’s ancestors are buried there. “We should pay homage,” he said.
"With the increased interest in patriotism and the increased interest in the American flag, we believe that an upgrade is due to the Oakwood Cemetery flagpole," a letter from Perrault and Belaire to the City Council states.
“We honor that flag,” Belaire said. “We served to protect that flag.”
All three men said the project was very important not just to them but also to a lot of people in the area.
“This is exactly what we want to have people do, to come forward to do something like this,” said Council Member David Rhoads.
The members of the Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 310 said they estimate that the current flagpole is about 40 years old, and think it's high time that it's replaced.
“There are a lot of people, not only here in Saline but perhaps many Ann Arbor people who have loved ones buried in Oakwood,” Perrault said in an email.
The men requested that the city’s Department of Public Works assist them in the details of location, lighting and removal of the current pole.
Those who would like to join the efforts are asked to send a check to the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 310, Proudly We Hail, P.O. Box 3221, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.
Perrault said the chapter is a nonprofit 501 C 19 organization and donors should put So Proudly We Hail in the memo line. The men said they plan to begin fundraising immediately.