After 20 years, veteran retires from tradition of planting flags in Woodbury, Minn.

- Over the past 20 years, one Woodbury, Minnesota man has gone above and beyond to showcase the pride he has for his country. 

88-year-old Bud Mergens plants American flags around his neighborhood every Fourth of July, adding a little patriotism to the area.

“I always liked the patriotic side of things, and I thought, ‘gee, it would be nice if we had a flag for every house,’” Mergens said.

Neighbors say they look forward to the tradition every year, as Mergens lines the streets with flags every Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

“You get up in the morning every holiday and there’s flags everywhere,” said neighbor Larry Paulson. “It’s just nice to have some appreciation of the flag and our country.”

Mergens, an army veteran, said he just wants to remind everyone how lucky we are.

“If it does nothing more than alert people to the fact that we live in the greatest country in the world, then I’m doing my job and you’re doing your job and I can retire,” Mergens said.

Mergens said that as the task gets more and more difficult, he's enlisted neighbors to help him. He said Tuesday that he'll permanently pass the torch by the end of this year.

“I’m going to watch other people do it and tell them what they’re doing wrong, like any good supervisor,” he said.

And it will always be Mergens who drives it home.

“The flag is the most important thing in our country, and if my neighbors see - which they do, which I force them to see it—that’s good,” he said.

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