1,400 Flags Fly High at Fresno Memorial Gardens


The sound of flags, waving in the wind. There’s one on every grave at the Fresno Memorial Gardens, and has been, each Memorial Day for 53 years.

It’s a literal “avenue” of flags.

Organizer Brian Copner says it represents all the veterans buried here.

“It started with 35 original flags, and today it’s over 1,400,” Copner said. “We keep growing.”

Service men and women were honored with presentations, like this wreath ceremony, and musical tributes.

The day also brought many together, like World War Two veteran Jasper De Bartolo and Iraq veteran Carlos Gonzales.

“I was overseas 6 months, Saipan, Okinawa, Korea,” De Bartolo said. 

“We spent one year over there, from August of ’08 to August of ’09,” Gonzales said.  

The men were born decades apart, but because of their time serving our country, they share a bond.

Along with each veteran here.

“We’re here because people before us did their thing they had to do, so you and I, and all of us, could talk like this,” Gonzales said. “And enjoy these celebrations with no problems.”

Another special moment, as congressman Jim Costa dedicated the day to retired Lt. George Flores, gifting him with a flag flown over the nation’s capitol.

“Oh it’s awesome, it feels awesome,” Flores said. “Once again, I appreciate the award.”

Flores then had all veterans stand to be honored with him, saying the day belongs to each one.

Reporting in Fresno, Megan Rupe.

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