American Legion in Oley puts flags on vetrerans' graves

Members of American Legion Post 878 in Oley distribute flags on some 339 veterans graves at Oley Cemetery in Spangsville. The cemetery at Spangsville has more veterans buried there than any other resting place in the Oley area.

A cadre of volunteers from American Legion Post 878 in Oley on Thursday placed flags on the graves of veterans in Oley and surrounding townships.

William J. Lutz, a Korean war veteran and post member, said flags supplied by the Berks County Veterans Affairs office were placed on cemeteries in Lobachsville, Spangsville, Alsace Township and Oley.

“We put out about 800 flags,” said Lutz, 72, a retired farmer who lives in Oley.

Two cemeteries, Oley Cemetery in Spangsville and Frieden’s UCC in Oley, have the largest number of veterans’ graves in the area.

“There are 339 veterans buried in Spangsville and about 300 in Frieden’s,” Lutz said.

The traditional Oley Memorial Day parade has been canceled due to restrictions on public gatherings amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Oley Legion will, however, continue its traditional 21-gun salute at area cemeteries, Lutz said.

Beginning at 8:45 a.m. Sunday at God’s Tabernacle in Oley, a Legion firing squad will visit St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Lobachsville, Pleasantville Union Cemetery in Oley Township, Oley Cemetery in Spangsville, Oley Line Cemetery in Oley and Zion Spies Church in Alsace Township. The honor services conclude at Frieden’s UCC Cemetery in Oley.

Specific times at each cemetery were unavailable.

Lutz, who was with the Army’s 7th Infantry when North Koreans crossed the DMZ in 1968, has been distributing flags and repairing grave markers for about 10 years.

“I believe every veteran deserves a grave marker,” he said, “and every veteran deserves a flag on Memorial Day.”

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