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Veteran wishes for beautiful Memorial Day tribute at historic Hopewell cemetery

HOPEWELL, Va. -- As Memorial Day nears, a former Army soldier wishes he could see a powerful display of patriotism billowing once again at a historic cemetery in Hopewell.

When it comes to loving the broad stripes and bright stars, C.D. Jackson Jr. ranks among the top.

Back when the Vietnam veteran was Commander of the Hopewell Disabled American Veterans Post 25, he made sure more than 100 large American flags were gallantly streaming City Point National Cemetery.

C.D. Jackson Jr.

C.D. Jackson Jr.

"We ended up having so many flags, that we stated running them down the wall," he told  another veteran at the cemetery on Friday.

Jackson said he had no reason to believe the flags he helped fly on special occasions in the late 1980s early 1990s were not still being flown.

"Then I came here on a Memorial Day or Veterans Day and they weren't up," Jackson explained.

The flags were flown as part of the Avenue of Flags, which the DAV Post 25 had coordinated for years.  But as the years passed, Post 25 disbanded and the flags ended up in storage.

After years of not being flown or used, they were properly disposed of years ago, Jackson discovered.

Jackson's father, a decorated World War II soldier, was laid to rest at the cemetery in 1957.

Avenue of Flags

Avenue of Flags

Jackson's father, a decorated World War II soldier, was laid to rest at the cemetery in 1957.

He vividly remembers all the flags flying at once.

"It would be beautiful and it would be very moving and I don't think you could do enough for these people laying here," Jackson said.

Wreaths Across America Coordinator Don Vtipil said bringing back the tradition would be a  "great opportunity" for the community.

"I think that would be wonderful and I would love to see the Citizens sponsor something like this," VFW Post 63 Commander Lee Dixon of VFW Post 637 said.

Vtipil said more than 6,000 veterans are buried at the historic cemetery.

"It's kind of a quiet,  little known cemetery, but it turns out to be beautiful when we do the wreaths and if you put some big flags out there, it would be just beautiful," Vtipil  said.

The key will be getting the flags donated and then having them installed for special occasions.

"I think it's doable," Dixon said. "It must be doable, because it was done in the past."

City Point National Cemetery

City Point National Cemetery

Jackson hopes donated flags will bring back the tradition. If you would like to volunteer or make a donation, click here for more information. 

In another move to honor local veterans, the Hopewell VFW and American Legion are working with City Hall to hang "Hometown Hero" banners featuring men and woman who served in the military.