An annual commemoration of war veterans by the Iroquois Falls Legion branch might not happen this year, and you can blame it on COVID-19.

Branch 70 president Don Beagan says more than 300 Canadian flags are placed on veterans’ graves in five area cemeteries, in White Cross holders made by high school students.

“And last fall, when we picked the flags up to put them away and store them for the winter,” he says, “a number of them were just beyond repair — weather beaten and whatever.”

Flying a battered and tattered flag is disrespectful to the flag.  Flying one on a military veteran’s grave would also be disrespectful to the vet.

Money isn’t the issue.  Donations specifically for the flags cover the cost. About 250 of the flags need to be replaced, but the Ontario Command Legion Poppy Store can’t supply them.

“COVID shut down all these non-essential businesses and the making of the flags is non-essential,” Beagan explains.

It’s all or nothing.  Beagan says the Legion wouldn’t put flags on some veterans’ graves and not others.  That, too, would be disrespectful.