Veterans Cemetery Project Inc. place flagpoles and flags in cemeteries across the state
The Veterans Cemetery Project Inc., led by Russell LaMarche, of Grand Marsh, has raised money for and installed flagpoles with American flags in 80 cemeteries in Wisconsin since early 2012 when the program was initiated. Two of those 80 were recently installed in Waushara County cemeteries, including the Town of Richford Cemetery on Aug. 22 and South Dakota Cemetery on Sept. 5.
In May of 2011, LaMarche, a Vietnam Veteran, was visiting a cemetery and noticed that the pole holding the American flag had broken in half and the flag was torn and lying on the ground. LaMarche removed the flag for proper retirement, but was disturbed that veterans were buried in that cemetery and no flag was flying in honor of those who served the country. He noted that there was a War of 1812 veteran and a Civil War veteran buried in the cemetery.
Following that cemetery visit, LaMarche met with friends and together the men decided to raise money to place a new metal flag pole, hang new U.S. and Prisoner of War flags and install solar lighting to shine on the flags. A Necedah veterans group officially dedicated that flag during a ceremony once it was purchased and installed.