Photo Caption: The Avenue of Flags received major donations from the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), Southside Machine Works and Mallet Buildings. Representatives pictured at the Memorial Day Avenue of Flags commemorative event included (Left to Right): Barton Istre, Joey Jarreau, Richard Guillory, Ted Harless, Jr., Lee Mallet, and Kyle Edmiston.
For Immediate Release
Angie S. Manning, CDME
Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana
Convention & Visitors Bureau
Avenue of Flags Receives Major Donations:
Storage Trailers, Flag Poles and a Post-Frame Building
LAKE CHARLES, La. (May 27, 2019)—The Avenue of Flags, a patriotic display of over 1,000 casket flags held at Orange Grove Graceland Cemeteries, 2023 Broad St., received major donations from the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), Southside Machine Works and Mallet Buildings. On Memorial Day, May 27, representatives of these entities were on site for a special presentation at the close of the commemorative event.
Earlier this year, the Avenue of Flags incurred the loss of 1,100 flag poles being stolen along with two trailers holding the missing poles. The Avenue of Flags is a non-profit organization, and the poles were accumulated over the span of 30 years. The community stepping up to assist the event allowed the Avenue of Flags to continue the tradition for the Lake Area.
Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of the CVB; Joey Jarreau, Barton Istre and Richard Guillory, owners of Southside Machine Works; and Lee Mallet of Mallet Buildings were on hand along with Ted Harless, Jr., director of the Avenue of Flags to make the announcements that the CVB approved a $10,000 Project Enhancement Grant for two storage trailers; Southside Machine Works donated 1,100 flag poles; and Mallet Buildings donated a post-frame building to store the poles and trailers.
“The outpouring of support for the Avenue of Flags from community leaders and business owners has been overwhelming. This event is incredibly meaningful to service men and women, their families and anyone who is moved to pay respects for the sacrifices made. The board of the Avenue of Flags is humbled by these great gestures of kindness, and we are deeply grateful,” said Harless.
“The Project Enhancement Grant is available to assist entities in the community overcome challenges or provide a method to enhance the visitor experience in Southwest Louisiana. The CVB is proud to support the Avenue of Flags and all that they do to commemorate both Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day in honor of those who have bravely served our country,” said Edmiston.
“Upon hearing of the loss to the community, we felt moved to assist the Avenue of Flags, and so we did what we could to make the event a success by providing much needed flag poles. Our company, having been founded by a veteran, is honored to be part of the mission of the Avenue of Flags. It has been amazing to hear from so many people in our community about their connection to the Avenue of Flags and their joy that this tradition can be continued,” said Jarreau.
“The Avenue of Flags is important to our community on many different levels, and Mallet Buildings wanted to help ensure the legacy of the families’ casket flags as well as the future of the Avenue of Flags by providing a storage facility,” said Mallet.
The Avenue of Flags is a display of casket flags that line the drive through the cemeteries in honor of fallen men and women. In addition to the memorial flags, the Avenue of Flags also features a history circle where replicas of eight previous United States flags are flown. The memorial flags measure 5 ft. by 9 1/2 ft. and are generally too large for proper display at home.
Each Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, the Avenue of Flags is on display from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Orange Grove Graceland Cemeteries. For more information, log onto www.VisitLakeCharles.org.