Memorial Day flag planting efforts require volunteers

Volunteers were called on Monday to help place miniature American flags for Memorial Day at every grave on the grounds of Riverside National Cemetery.

At least 200 volunteers are needed to perform the Flag for Every Hero tradition at the 900-acre National Cemetery, the fourth largest of its kind nationwide, on Saturday, May 28, before Memorial Day on Monday, May 30 .

The flag placements are not only performed on Memorial Day weekend, but also on Veterans Day. Both were halted in 2020 due to the pandemic but are set to resume this year.

Memorial Day is fast approaching and hopefully we can get back to our normal operations,” said Brennan Leininger of the nonprofit Honoring Our Fallen, which is helping to organize the effort.

“I hope for a great turnout to honor and remember all of the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country,” said the honorably discharged US Air Force Soldier and current Anaheim Police Officer. “We have a great responsibility to fill Riverside National Cemetery with flags.”

The cemetery’s sheer size, with more than 200,000 burial sites, makes it virtually impossible for the cemetery to self-administer and fund such a program, according to the Honoring Our Fallen website at www.honoringourfallen.org, which accepts donations.

A decade ago, only a fraction of burial sites had flags, but organizers have since been able to source enough flags and enlist a sufficient number of volunteers to place the Stars and Stripes next to almost all of the final resting places of those buried in the cemetery.

Flags will now be set up at each grave within about three hours, said Leininger.

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