One flag at a time in Springhill

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Springhill man leading charge to remember Canada’s enlisted year-round

SPRINGHILL – It didn’t take long to place fifty Canadian flags on the graves of the nation’s veterans hailing from Springhill and surrounding area, but it did take a while to finally get them.

From right) Springhill Leos Club vice president Justin Gabriel, president Ryan Baker and retired Canadian Force’s MP Tim Baker laid fifty flags on the graves of Springhill’s soldiers on Sunday. Not realizing how many have served in the Canadian Forces, the trio have since ordered more.

And there weren’t enough.

“I can’t believe it. There’s more veterans than I realized,” Tim Baker said. “We have more coming. When they arrive we’ll finish.”

Baker laid the flags at the Monument Hill cemetery on Sunday with the help of the Springhill Leos Club, after diligently working for three years to get the flags. Area resources could only provide him with provincial flags, but the former member of the Canadian Forces wanted the red maple leaf emblematic with the nation. Finally, through veteran counselor Tom Elliott, Baker was able to secure the first installment of flags, making for a coincidental display of appreciation as the 70th anniversary of D-Day was observed.

“This was an idea I had one year and I’ve been waiting to get the flags for more than that,” Baker said.

With the number of World War veterans diminishing each year, and the number of living veterans increasing, Baker said its important for communities to connect with their military fallen and would eventually like to see more communities and groups take the time to lay flags on the graves of the fallen and deceased.

“I’m trying to get the social conscious out there,” Baker said. I’d like to see cadet groups and service groups like the Leos Clubs, take this on. Every community needs to get together to remember at the beginning of spring. What does it take to put up a flag? Just a little time for these men and women who gave us so much more of theirs.”

Baker expects the next installment of flags will arrive soon.

Organizations: Springhill Leos Club, Canadian Forces

Geographic location: Springhill, Canada, Monument Hill

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