Company granted waiver to distribute flags for veterans' graves on Memorial Day

Members of the Blue Knights went on an important mission Tuesday. The motorcycle club escorted a truck filled with 50,000 American flags from Flag Zone in Gilbertsville to the Berks County Department of Veterans in Reading.

"It really meant a lot to me. I was able to touch every box that's gonna go on 28 to 30,000 graves for our deceased soldiers,” Luis Gonzales said.

Gonzales is a retired Reading police officer. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and was behind the wheel on the donated Penske truck carrying the flags. 

"It's just an honor. Our hearts were racing. It's just, we felt so relieved that we were able to do this for the families of our veterans in Berks County," he added.

It almost didn’t happen because Flag Zone was deemed a nonessential business amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Berks County was worried they were going to have to postpone its long-standing Memorial Day tradition of placing flags on veterans’ graves until a huge outcry from the public.

"It was very, very important for many individuals in the community. County commissioners heard those concerns and worked diligently with the leadership in Harrisburg," Ken Lebron, Berks County director of veterans affairs, said.

Lebron says Governor Tom Wolf ultimately granted Flag Zone a waiver so the company could distribute the flags in time for the important day of remembrance.

"It's symbolic. It is representative of a grateful nation. It is more than just a flag," he said.


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