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232 American Flags on One Marblehead Street

Marblehead's Atlantic Avenue is fast becoming one of the most patriotic stretches in Massachusetts.

You'd be hard-pressed to find another North Shore street with more American flags than Marblehead's Atlantic Avenue - which is the focus of this week's column.

This week we didn't receive a question - but a challenge - from a local resident who wondered if we would be willing to go out and count the American flags on Atlantic Avenue.

They wrote: "Our family has noticed more and more flags being installed on Atlantic Avenue and our kids have even made a game out of trying to count the American flags! Might be a fun contest to ask people how many there are."

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So, on Wednesday, we set out on the 2.2 mile trip from to and counted 232 American flags (including the miniature flags attached to utility poles lining the street.)

Where did they all come from?

Many were installed as part of an effort spearheaded by Ticehurst Lane resident Katie Reilly who said she dreamed of driving down Atlantic Avenue and seeing American flags at all of the houses and businesses along the way.

In March, Reilly set out to make her dream a reality and began a campaign to have American Flags installed - free of charge - at homes and businesses along the route.

After hand-delivering more than 150 letters, Reilly said she received responses from 61 residents and 10 local business owners - all of whom said they'd be happy to have a flag installed.

"The responses were heartfelt messages on my home phone saying how thrilled and honored they would be to fly our American flag," Reilly said, adding that she enjoyed getting to know those who responded.

Reilly said the effort to have the flags installed would have never gotten off the ground without the help of Randy Krivitsky, who volunteered to put them up, and David Rodgers, head of the Marblehead Veterans Administration.

"I really want to spend the rest of my life saying thank you to our troops," Reilly said. "This is just a fun way I thought we could do that."

If you have a question (or challenge) for us, no matter how strange it may seem, let us know and we'll try to find the answers.

mary p. ayer December 10, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I think the flags are super wounderful!! --NOW--- LET'S KEEP THE LIGHTS ON ALL THE BUSHES AND TREES AFTER THE CHRISTMAS SEASON IS OVER---FOR THE TROOPS---AND TO BRIGHTEN UP THE DREARY WINTER MONTHS. Why do people race to rip every light off and make their houses dark again? Aren't we happier seeing everything lit up? The price is very inexpensive for all the cheer we get back from it. We can remove the "other seasoal things"---but--- "LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON"!!

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