Sheriff donates 408 flags for veterans’ graves in East Feliciana _lowres

Photo provided by Michelle Duncan -- Beth Dawson, a member of the Alexander Stirling chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, accepts a donation of 408 American flags from East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Talmadge Bunch at Jazzy Night in the Felicianas on Aug. 22 in Clinton. The flags are donated to DAR for its Veterans Day ceremony every November.

More than eight years ago, East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Talmadge Bunch began donating small American flags to the Alexander Stirling chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for the ceremonies the organization conducts honoring military veterans in November.

This year, Bunch contributed 408 flags to be placed on graves of veterans in East Feliciana on Veterans Day.

Over the years, thousands of grave sites have received flags and been the focus of ceremonies held by the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, United Daughters of the Confederacy and Boy and Girl Scouts of America, among others.

“We’re grateful to Sheriff Bunch that he remembers to ensure that the East Feliciana heroes buried in our cemeteries are remembered with a red, white and blue tribute on Veterans Day,” DAR’s Beth Dawson said.

Bunch presented the flags to Dawson on Aug. 22.

“My father, brother and my wife’s father are all military veterans buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Clinton. My uncles are all vets, too,” Bunch said. “It’s such a small contribution compared to those who gave their time and lives for our country. It’s something very small we can do to give back in exchange for the freedoms we enjoy in our great country.”

“Lots of people return home to East Feliciana just to place the flags on their loved ones’ graves,” Bunch’s wife, Sue Bunch, said. “There are a lot of tears and plenty of joy on that November afternoon when we’re remembering our veterans.”

Editor’s Note: This story was changed on Sept. 3 to correct the headline and a reference to Sheriff Talmadage Bunch as Branch.