90-year-old veteran places flags on veterans’ graves at a local cemetery


NEWMAN, Ill. (WCIA) — “It’s just a good thing to do,” said Jim Young, a veteran. “Somebody needs to recognize the veterans. They don’t get enough credit.”

That’s why a man in Newman spent hours placing flags on veterans’ graves. He wanted to make sure those who have served our country are honored.

With memorial day just around the corner, Veteran Jim Young is doing his part to give tribute to past veterans.

“World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Civil War, Desert Storm, Mexican War, and the Spanish American War,” said Jim Young, listing off some of the wars the veterans in Fairfield Cemetery fought in.

Jim Young is a Korean War veteran. For the past 55 years, Young has placed flags on veterans’ graves in Fairfield Cemetery in Newman.

At 90 years old, Young isn’t slowing down.

“I’m still doing it,” he said. “It’s no big deal for me to do it.”

At first, he would stake about 100 or so flags on graves.

This year, Young placed 211 flags. He would sometimes do this job with loved ones.

“All through the years, my family’s helped me one time or another,” said Young.

Young has a list of names of veterans and a map of the cemetery to locate each man.

During the war, Young never went to combat.

He worked as a radio operator and spent almost a year in Iwo Jima.

Why Fairfield Cemetery?

The cemetery has both his family and fellow veterans.

“Most of my family is buried up here in the Northeast corner,” said Young.

He hopes that one day, someone will take this special task.

“Anything you can do to honor a veteran is a good thing to do,” Young said.

He hopes to find someone who can fill his spot for the future.

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