Part of Lake Sun's tribute to Veterans Day published Nov. 6.
Delmar Davis, an 88-year-old World War II veteran, is proud of the days he served, lending a hand to help out the nations. Davis is quick to share his stories of days gone by with those of the younger generations but more than that, it is his dedication to those who have served that sets him apart.
It was back in 1999, that Davis decided someone needed to be decorating the graves of veterans buried in a small cemetery in Camdenton. Ever since then, Davis, with the help of a few friends, has spent a day before Memorial Day placing flags on graves of those that the day is dedicated to in the Dale Blair Memorial Cemetery.
When asked why he does it, he simply said it was because nobody else was doing it and veterans feel for veterans.
Davis is a former radio-operator for the Merchant Marine. He served on the Liberty ships, which supplied food and supplies to Europe and other countries. If you walk into his shop, Davis Baskets, you can see several models of ships that Davis put together himself. There is a visible twinkle in his eye as he talks about the ships and his experiences, and the feeling that he really loved what he did shows.
Davis will put more than a 100 flags on the graves of those who served with him, before him and after him. He said that each year they seem to find a couple more graves that he wasn't aware of, so the number changes.
Putting the flags on graves is much like decorating them. There is no routine on how or where to put them, but the flags only stay up for about a week due to proper care procedures. The flags quietly mark the graves of those Davis said should never be forgotten.
For about a week each year, the flags grace the graves, gently blowing in the summer breeze. A lasting remembrance from one veteran to another.
Davis said he knew several of the people that are now buried at the cemetery, and has outlived almost all of this friends. This makes putting the flags on their graves even more meaningful to him.
"When I go by the graves of the men I knew I talk to them a little bit. It's a feeling of camaraderie."