The Dansville Online
  • Flags now adorn all Wayland cemeteries

  • It seems fitting that among the many places where American flags should be billowing aloft would be in our cemeteries.

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  • It seems fitting that among the many places where American flags should be billowing aloft would be in our cemeteries.
    But for generations, several Wayland cemeteries have gone without the covering of an American flag, until now.
    A little after 8 a.m. Memorial Day, Wayland American Legion Color Guard marched into Lakeside Cemetery for services to honor its deceased veterans and to dedicate a 50-foot flagpole donated with the help of many.
    American Legion Commander Kevin Mark said it began when he noticed the flag pole in disarray at the former Wayland armory (armory plaza).
    He asked plaza owner John Edmond if he could have it refurbished. After Edmond’s blessing, Mark asked Dean Kiefer, Lakeview Cemetery Association president, if it could be brought there.
    Kiefer served at the armory while in the reserves.
    “He had history raising and lowering the flag on that pole itself,” Mark said. “It was part of his livelyhood growing up.”
    Mark brought on Carl Thielges and others at LMC in Dansville to restore the pole, plus Ron Becker and Antone Case to help relocate the pole to LMC.
    “They redid the whole thing, made it all brand new,” Mark said of LMC’s work on the made-in-New York pole.
    When finished, the pole was brought back to Becker’s farm until the cemetery grounds were ready for installation.
    In early May, Mike Landino dug the hole, and the seven yards of cement, which came from Elam Materials, was poured by Jeff Mark. Jason Coates set the pole the Friday before Memorial Day.
    With monetary and labor donations from the Wayland Sons of the American Legion, Southern Tier Steel fabricated new flagpoles for three additional cemeteries – North Loon Lake, Wayland East Side and Old St. Joseph’s this past month.
    “It’s amazing how people help in this community,” Mark noted, adding also his disappointment that many others who can, simply do not volunteer.
    Mark said that he wished everyone had the same attitude as local Colonel James Stampher, who replied to Mark’s inquiry with the simple statement, “Where do you want me and what do you want me to do?”
    In addition to the new flag poles, this Memorial Day marked the 90th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for the Theodore VanTassel American Legion Post.

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