Volunteers step up to place flags in cemeteries in time for Memorial Day

 American Flags are placed at veterans' graves for Memorial Day.
American Flags are placed at veterans' graves for Memorial Day. (WILX)
Published: May. 25, 2020 at 3:18 PM EDT
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Old Glory stands tall in every section of Mount Hope Cemetery to honor those who served.

"This is the weekend we remember those who gave the very final, complete sacrifice for this country," said Loretta Stanaway, president of Friends of Lansing's Historic Cemeteries.

More than 4,000 flags were placed beside the graves of veterans throughout Lansing.

Stanaway said not only are the flags a tradition, it's a duty.

"The U.S. Flag Code requires cemeteries provide flags on Memorial weekend to be placed on veterans' graves," she said.

It doesn't matter when the veterans served, everyone gets a flag, including those who served during the Civil War.

"We a debt of gratitude to those who gave their lives and service to this country," Stanaway said.

Normally Stanaway gets help from several groups, like the Boy Scouts, to place the flags.

This year most groups backed out because of the coronavirus.

"We were not prepared for when we learned groups that would typically do this were not going to do it," said Stanaway.

A few days later, area Century 21 realtors stepped up to help place the flags.

"I wasn't one of the people who served the country so to be able to serve those that have served our country was really impactful," said Joe Vitale, realtor.

For Stanaway, the flags show how we can all come together.

"I hope it brings a sense of unity to all the people who see it and recognize our country has more to it than just divisive efforts," said Stanaway.

The flags will be picked up later this week so they can be used again next year.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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