Will Frankenberger

Will Frankenberger of West Milford puts down one of 3,800 American flags Saturday on the quad in front of the Education Building at Fairmont State University.

FAIRMONT — Planting nearly 4,000 tiny American flags into the ground might seem like a lot of work to some people, but for a group of students at Fairmont State University Saturday morning, it was a pleasure.

Working in the chilly weather, they started in the center of the lawn and worked outward as the flags expanded into a mass of red, white and blue that blanketed the grass.

“It’s fun, we’ve had a lot of fun doing it,” said Sandy Coleman, the veterans certifying official at the university.

She invited members from Life Pointe Church in Clarksburg to put down 3,800 flags in the front of the Education Building on the quad Saturday in honor of Veterans Day. The flags will remain on display through the coming week.

“It’s to honor the veterans, but it’s also to let everyone here on campus see the flags and to know how much we appreciate what the veterans have done and what the flag means to us,” she said.

About eight members from the church helped plant the flags.

Coleman said the flags have been placed on the quad in previous years, but this year, she wanted the church to join in the effort.

“We’ve done this every year for five years, and I just thought it would be nice to have the church involved with it and link with the community here through Fairmont State,” she said.

Coleman made the connection with the church through Damien Rounds, a group leader at the church who works in the office with her. She said he’s a veteran who is also a student, and works in the VA Work Study program.

She liked having the church helping out.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “They’ve been a big help. It’s been very lighthearted. We had breakfast together, and they provided that, so it’s been nice.”

Rounds said he was thrilled to help out.

“I can’t wait to do it,” he said. He said it’s part of what the church does to help others in the community.

“It’s a pleasure,” said another church member, Will Frankenberger of West Milford. “It’s kind of an honor.”

He said planting the flags is a way to thank veterans and also God, who he said has blessed the nation.

And though the weather was cold, Coleman said it’s wasn’t a problem.

“It’s worked out good,” she said.

She said it takes about an hour to put all the flags in the ground. Coleman said people are grateful for the display.

“They just say how much it was a blessing to see it, and it made them happy to know that we’re representing our flag,” she said.

Eric Hrin can be reached at 304-367-2549, or ehrin@timeswv.com.

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