Char Merrill Swalberg, who organizes Operation Christmas Card each year to send cards and care packages to servicemen and women overseas, wanted to donate flags and place them next to graves at Fort McPherson National Cemetery Shrine for Memorial Day weekend.

Officials at the cemetery turned her down, citing COVID-19 concerns.

Swarlberg offered to buy the flags and place them before or after hours, but, sadly, they just couldn’t allow it, she said.

So, she found an alternate site.

She intends to place 12,325 flags in the field south of the Platte River Mall in honor of those that served our country and are now at rest, leaving them on display Sunday and Monday.

She is raised funds quickly Wednesday night so she could place an order for the flags Thursday, she told the Bulletin.

Fort McPherson officials told her they will allow family members to place flags at family grave sites. There will be no gathering there, but airplanes will fly over the national cemetery at 10 a.m.

“They were very apologetic and kind and hoped that I would be able to pull my idea off,” Swalberg said.

The monetary goal was met within hours of the idea being shared on the Bulletin’s website and facebook, she said.

“I consider it an honor and my duty to do what I can to support our troops, past and present. Even though we can’t place the flags at Fort McPherson, we are still going to respectfully place flags to honor them,” she said. “If you would like to show your support, please feel free to drive by and think of our heroes of days past, if you would like to support our active duty troops, wear red on Friday to remember everyone deployed. Donate if you wish to Operation Christmas Card. We send care packages and Christmas cards to troops all over the world who might otherwise receive nothing. There are a ton of ways to show support and honor. I would also like to say thank you to those who took the time to share this idea and contribute money to make it happen.”

Donations to Operation Christmas Card are accepted HERE. Swalberg’s Facebook is HERE.