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Volunteers begin process of placing 9,000 flags at Lake View Cemetery ahead of Memorial Day

Posted at 5:38 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 18:37:51-04

CLEVELAND — We all appreciate the majesty of Memorial Day, the display of colors, and the sea of flags that adorn the graves at local cemeteries. But so caught up in the solemnity of the setting are we that we might not even think of the work that went into making these awe-inspiring sights happen.

That’s where the volunteers at places like Lake View Cemetery come in. On Thursday afternoon they began the process of, one by one, setting in place literally thousands of American flags on the graves of the veterans buried here.

"I think they're so critical because I don't know that we could do almost 9,000 flags within a short amount of time," said Katharine Goss, President and CEO of Lake View Cemetery.

Armed with maps of the graves of the 8,911 known veterans buried here they set out.

Folks like Ken Aguilar, "my father was a veteran," he shared.

Aguilar and his family came out on his birthday to help.

"My daughter's in from California so I said we're going to do this for my birthday and they said fine," he said.

We ran into Kim Cosgrove and Kelley from Kirtland. They are first-time volunteers in this effort. Appreciating the fact that each one of these graves carries with it its own individual tale of service to the flag that they're honored to place next to it this day.

"You know there's a lot of veterans out there but when you're walking grave by grave and seeing what wars they fought it really is, yeah it's very moving," Kim Cosgrove said.

Daniel Volpe agrees like many of the volunteers here he says being here and doing this puts into perspective the true meaning of the holiday.

"This is a great way to kick off the weekend but also to be introspective while we're out here," Volpe said.

The folks at Lake View are expecting to see a sizable number of people come through the grounds over the holiday weekend to see the work of these volunteers.

"We have a program on Monday morning starting at 10:30 and we're expecting a record number at that program," said Goss. "Because for the last two years we really haven't had a real program that's really open, last year we did an abbreviated version of it but this year we're going to have music and a 21 gun salute and a lot of other things."

"Maybe this year is most important of all with all of the stuff going on in the world," she said.

It was President Franklin Roosevelt who said years ago that those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men and women have died to win them. Through efforts like this we remember those souls especially and the families they left behind so that we can enjoy time this weekend with ours.