RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) — It’s almost Memorial Day, and several Madison County organizations are showing respect for veterans buried in the Bluegrass. This weekend, Flags for Veterans-Madison County is placing flags on their graves ahead of the holiday, but it needs volunteers to get the job done.
There are more than 1,500 flags that need to be put on veterans’ graves in several cemeteries across the county. In years past, the job took hours because the group had fewer than 10 volunteers helping. It hopes to have more this year.
If you’re interested in lending a hand, the day starts at 2 p.m. this Sunday at Flatwoods Cemetery in Waco, Kentucky. The group will then move to College Hill Cemetery around 3 p.m. and end at Pilot Knob Cemetery in Berea a few hours later. Volunteers are also meeting on May 26 at 6 p.m. to place flags at Maple Grove Cemetery in Richmond.
“Let’s pause for a few moments, remember the sacrifices these men and women have given to our great country,” said Spencer Guiley, co-leader of Flags for Veterans-Madison County. “Help us put out flags, help us clean up the tattered flags, and make sure that their sacrifice that makes us have the freedom that we have today is not forgotten.”
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Not every grave volunteer’s pass belongs to a veteran. Family members are also buried at the cemeteries they visit. Volunteers say, it’s their knowledge of history that helps them find the right gravesite, or a family member tells them where a veteran is buried, but the main way to tell is by an official veteran marker on the grave, itself.
Guiley says veterans buried with their families in rural cemeteries instead of at national ones are often overlooked but still deserve as much respect.
“There’s been a lot of men and women who have died for this country. So, taking the time to honor them, whether that be at a larger cemetery or at a small family cemetery, I think it’s all important,” he said. “None of them need to be forgotten.”
Most of the flags are two-spec flags similar to those found at Arlington National Cemetery. If volunteers notice any torn flags, they’ll replace them, and retire the old ones later this year with help from members of the Battle of Richmond Association.