A patriotic display honoring Hunt County veterans who died in war has returned to downtown Greenville in time for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.
Tim and Aletha Kruse, along with an assembly of family members and friends, installed the annual Greenville Flag project Tuesday afternoon and evening along the Audie Murphy Overpass. The effort involved adding hundreds of wooden crosses, each carrying the name of a veteran, and smaller United States flags in the median while larger flags lined both the Stonewall and Johnson streets sides of the overpass.
“Just under 300,” Tim Kruse said of the number of crosses installed. The crosses represent, and include the names of, every Hunt County resident killed during World War I, World II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, who were identified with assistance from the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum.
“There are also a few miscellaneous ones that people requested we add,” he said.
The Greenville Golden K Kiwanis Club helped construct the new, larger crosses that also required a new system of installation. Previously, the smaller crosses were hammered directly into the ground, whereas the larger crosses were attached to rebar to help them stay in place.
The display is scheduled to remain in place through the July 4 holiday.
A GoFundMe page seeks financial assistance for the project. Additional details are available at www.facebook.com/GreenvilleFlags.
Those wishing to donate can visit www.gofundme.com/greenville-flag-project.
Time Kruse began the project in 2012, helping to add to the couple’s already patriotic Park Street neighborhood.
The stretch of Park between Stonewall Street and Moulton Avenue traditionally is decked out in more flags, banners, bunting and ribbons on Independence Day than anywhere else in Greenville, as it hosts the larger of two annual local parades on the nation’s birthday.
That first year Kruse added 100 examples of the Stars and Stripes, to go along with those posted by Greenville’s Daybreak Rotary Club and other residents along the parade route. He said he got the idea from watching a segment on the CBS Sunday Morning show about Larry Eckhardt, who for years traveled to soldiers’ funerals in Illinois and surrounding states, providing flags along the path the soldier’s body would travel.
Before moving to Greenville, Kruse worked as head of operations for the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a two-week festival celebrating the Fourth of July with various events and activities around the city.