For the second year in a row I have had the privilege of going to place flags at Calverton National Cemetery. Each year the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend groups of all kinds, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, VFW and the like ascend on the cemetery gathering in place by 9 a.m. The rules are few but strict— respect being the top priority.
There are wood boxes placed in each section that contain bundles of flags, the adults fill their arms with bundles and at promptly 9:30 am and the placement begins, in the front middle, about three inches ahead of the gravestone.
The white headstones have always impressed me, regimented, perfectly aligned and many in number. Last year being the first year I took part I went with a small group of girls from my Girl Scout Troop, I looked at the children mostly kindergartners, I looked at the field in front of us and these seemingly endless rows of white gravestones and was sure we would be there all day. So we gathered the bundles, waited for 9:30 and got started. One by one we placed the flags, reading names and wars as we went, after a while I looked up and saw a sea of flags and realized all the graves had one, it seemed other groups had joined us and in the quietness of the morning as if by magic the flags stood there and we were finished.
It only took about fifteen minutes. This year was much the same and still that awe of these kids, who some will try to convince you only care about what video game they are downloading next, taking the flags, silently placing them, then moving on to the next. It is no small price our military families pay to keep us and our country safe, so our children can grow and prosper. Keep them in your prayers, and think about next year spending about an hour of your Saturday morning, before cleaning the grill, or getting a good deal shopping to join us at Calverton, making that part of your family tradition.