Scout troops and volunteers assisted Michigan Veteran Homes to plant more than 5,000 flags for Memorial Day.
Volunteers planted the flags at gravesites of fallen heroes in the states veteran cemetery at the Michigan Veteran Homes in Grand Rapids.
The flags are delivered each year by the United Veterans Council of Kent County.
While the effort began with the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts have become involved in recent years as well.
“It really does help inspire girls of all ages to honor veterans, honor our troops and find their own way to recognize the sacrifices that have been made by these individuals for our country,” said Krystan Krucki, director of marketing and communications for The Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore.
Scouts are given instructions on how to properly honor the veterans buried at the cemetery.
The process begins with a scout placing a flag to the left of the headstone, followed by reciting the veterans name and rendering a salute.
“We’ve had anywhere from 500-800 scouts join us in the past,” said Tiffany Carr, director of relations for the Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids. “Even with restrictions and concerns related to COVID-19, all 5,000+ flags were planted by the afternoon on May 20th as planned to honor our fallen veterans.”
The cemetery was dedicated on May 31, 1886 and hosts the graves of veterans dating back to the Civil War.
It was initially plotted for 262 graves with room for 1,048 but has grown to more than 5,000 gravesites.
The cemetery is open for visitation this weekend and visitors can access the cemetery through the main entrance on Lamberton Street NE.