A visit to the historic Camp Polk Cemetery last week led to the discovery of a pair of military veterans representing the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post and the local chapter of the American Legion, planting new American flags at the gravesites of their deceased “brothers and sisters” who had also served in the United States military.

Earl Schroeder and Lance Trowbridge of Sisters are dedicated to giving honor to those service people who are laid to rest at Camp Polk.

“I decided to make a visit out to the cemetery and in the process of walking about, I joined Lance Trowbridge there replacing worn-out flags with fresh ones,” said Schroeder.

Together the two men went about replacing flags on a total of 42 gravesites among the 200-plus burial sites at the cemetery.

 Schroeder has a passion for our country and looks forward to celebrating the 4th of July next month.

“Visiting the cemetery and taking time to honor the veterans laid to rest there got me thinking about the many freedoms that began for our country with the Declaration of Independence,” he said.

As the two men replaced weather-worn flags with new ones, they paused at each grave in what Schroeder described as “a tender moment” of remembrance and thanks. Graves in the cemetery date back to the 1880s, and many names on the headstones are still familiar to the present population.

“In addition to seeing the flags flying, a visit to the cemetery is worth the effort,” Schroeder said.

The VFW and American Legion also recently erected a new flag pole near the entrance to the cemetery. Sisters Ace Hardware donated the small flags placed at the gravesites.

Camp Polk Cemetery sits above the Deschutes Land Trust’s Camp Polk Meadow Preserve, giving the cemetery a quiet, natural beauty filled with solitude. To get to the cemetery, take Locust Street south of Sisters, which becomes Camp Polk Road, for about three miles. Stay on Camp Polk Road as it sweeps eastward (rather than going straight onto Wilt Road) and the gravel drive is to the left about a quarter of a mile. Pass the parking area for the Camp Polk Meadow Preserve before arriving at the gate at the cemetery.