Holyoke students, volunteers place flags ahead of Memorial Day - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Holyoke students, volunteers place flags ahead of Memorial Day

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

Memorial Day may still be a weekend away, but plenty of fallen heroes are being remembered today.

Dozens of volunteers - young and old - took their American flags to Forestdale Cemetery, remembering those who deserve it most.

Forestdale Cemetery is quiet on a beautiful Friday morning, but it's also jam-packed with volunteers from Holyoke High School and beyond, who are placing flags at vveteran's graves ahead of Memorial Day.

"I want to make sure they get the recognition that they deserve for their service, and their time, and their life," said Perryne Vega, a senior at Holyoke High.

Vega has been planting flags since she was a freshman.  

A tradition of student government, Vega is the vice president of her graduating class and told Western Mass News it's moments like these that she will carry with her beyond the classroom and more importantly, these men and women deserve it.

"To give your life for your country, you need that honor.  If I can simply just put a flag, it means a lot to me.  It's worth my time," Vega said.

This is the first year that members of Barnes Air National Guard Base are volunteering as well and they told us they are honored to.

"I think that says a lot for the community as a whole coming together and also letting the young ones know what memorial day is all about," Tech Sgt. Kayla Morin with Barnes Air National Guard Base.

Morin has spent a decade serving at Barnes.  Today is a moment of reflection. Along with other base members and the U.S. Army, there's nowhere else they'd rather be.

"Very honored to be able to do this for them," Morin added.

Nearly 1,300 flags were placed on veterans graves Friday alone.  Thirty volunteers helped keep a 25 year old American Legion tradition alive, but this is just one of several cemeteries where veterans will be honored this week.

If you are looking to volunteer:

The cemeteries listed below will be seeking volunteers to help replace flags on grave sites which are recognized as being a eteran of the armed forces. Volunteers should meet at the cemetery at the date and time noted below:

  • St. Jerome Cemetery: 5/20 - 12:30 p.m.
  • Calvary Cemetery: 5/22 - 2:30 p.m.
  • Elmwood Cemetery: 5/22 - 2:30 p.m.
  • Precious Blood Cemetery: 5/23 - 6 p.m.
  • Mater Dolorosa Cemetery: 5/25 - 5 p.m.

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