COVINGTON — While the COVID-19 pandemic caused the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prohibit the placing of American flags on the graves of veterans at national cemeteries this Memorial Day, it didn’t stop a few Covington residents from placing flags on graves on May 21.

For decades, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other groups have devoted part of Memorial Day to place small American flags at the graves of veterans and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice as a way to honor the country’s war heroes. But this year, caution and concerns about the coronavirus caused the VA to bar Boy Scouts and other groups from carrying out the mass flag placements.

Nevertheless, Covington residents and firefighters joined members of the City Council Thursday morning to place American flags on the graves of veterans in the city cemetery.

Council member Fleeta Baggett said she has been doing it for years.

“I figure that’s the least I can do,” Baggett said. “We pick up the old ones and put out the new ones. And now I think this is really important.”

“My grandfather Carl wanted to serve in World War II but was turned down for being too short, so he worked as an electrician in Warner Robins and wired planes,” Baggett continued. “He just always talked about how important it was.”

Throughout World War II, 23,670 employees at Warner Robins repaired almost every kind of Army Air Force aircraft, including B-17s, C-47s, B-29s, B-24s, P-38s, P-47s, and P-51s.

“My daddy served in the Army. It’s always been important to me and this is just the least I can do,” said Baggett.

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Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.

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