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Honoring Veterans This Memorial Day Weekend

American Flag
seanmcmenemy/Flickr

The end of the school year is here, and Memorial Day weekend is a way most get into the swing of things as a family for the summer. While most will head out to the Lake of the Ozarks, go watch a baseball game or have a family reunion or picnic, a few years ago I started a tradition with my son, and I hope to share it with the whole family.

My wife’s grandfather died around Memorial Day weekend and we couldn’t make the funeral, so I thought, “What better way to honor this World War II veteran than to go honor his fellow servicemen that were buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Sedalia?”

I have been to many Memorial Day Ceremonies with friends and family, but I had never been out to place flags at the headstones of those who served our country.  A few years ago, I heard they needed volunteers, so Gabriel and I went ahead and did it in honor my grandfather and his great-grandfathers. We got up really early, but it didn’t matter, because placing the flags in the cemetery was an honor. I had thought only veteran groups and honor guards did, but in many towns and cities, it is volunteers who do it.

We have placed flags each year, and it only takes an hour or so to take care of one section. We carefully try and make sure all the flags are placed where they should be. There is nothing like after the job is done to see rows and rows of flags. However, while I am not related to anybody buried at Crown Hill,  I always take the time to read aloud the names of those in service and what they did.   I always felt when you did that, the names of those who passed on are not forgotten.

So while you are enjoying your friends and family this weekend, I hope you can join me or go to your closest cemetery and help place flags at the headstones.   It has been a great tradition, and we hope you take the time on Memorial Day Weekend to remember the men and women who served our country.

Happy Memorial Day!

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