Memorial Day is the time when we honor those who sacrificed all in service to the United States of America. Along with other town events planned for the 2023 Memorial Day weekend (the Wreath Ceremony and Memorial Day Parade), the Cheshire Veterans Council will also be placing flags upon veteran graves, as part of the annual Flags Across Cheshire campaign on Saturday, May 27, beginning at 1 p.m.
This event is a great way for parents or grandparents to teach their children about the importance of honoring our fallen heroes. “Every year, we notice more and more people attending the event to help keep the memorial in Memorial Day,” said Flags Across Cheshire Committee Members Don Falk and Amy Waraksa, both also members of the VFW Post 10052.
Interested volunteers are invited to go to two local cemeteries, Hillside Cemetery off Wallingford Road (starting in the new section) and St. Bridget of Sweden Cemetery. Once an identified grave of a veteran is found, a volunteer will place an American flag in the center and as close to the gravestone or marker as possible, in deference to cemetery maintenance. If the gravestone has a flag holder, the flag is to be placed there and if the gravestone has a headstone and veteran footstone, only one flag is needed to be placed. Any existing flags that are worn out should be removed and given to the volunteers staffing the cemeteries so the flags can be retired using the proper protocol.
All volunteers are asked to say the veteran’s name with their right hand over their heart — or military salute if a veteran or scout — and say the name of the deceased veteran in honor and memory before proceeding to the next veteran grave. Scouts are asked to be in uniform.
Both cemeteries will have volunteers directing you to uncovered areas and distributing flags, many of which were generously donated from R.W. Hines ACE Hardware.
The only request is for volunteers to bring their own screwdrivers, or something like it, to be able to punch into the ground so the flag stick doesn’t break.
Flags will be removed one week after Memorial Day.
The Cheshire Veterans Council also encourages volunteers who bring children to teach them the importance of honoring our veterans and what Memorial Day is all about.
For more information, please go to the Flags Across Cheshire Facebook site.