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Volunteers Needed to Plant Flags on Veterans’ Graves in West Hartford

Flag planting at Fairview Cemetery. Courtesy of Jen Evans (we-ha.com file photo)

Volunteers are needed for the Memorial Day flag planting scheduled for Saturday, May 20, 2023.


Each year, West Hartford takes great pride in celebrating Memorial Day by remembering our veterans with a flag planting event and ceremony.

There are more than 1,200 military graves in Fairview Cemetery, and volunteers from the community are asked to assist the American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 in placing flags to honor their service to the United States on Saturday, May 20, 2023. This is a rain or shine event.

Volunteers are asked to assemble at the Cemetery Management area at 8:30 a.m. for instructions on the proper placement of flags and an assignment of a cemetery area. Everyone is welcome and there is no need to RSVP.

To assist in placement of a flag, please bring a screwdriver to prepare a hole in the ground for placement of the flag.

Anyone who has a relative or friend buried at Fairview Cemetery whose grave is not properly identified as that of a veteran should contact the cemetery office at 860-561-8136 so that a flag can be placed there.

Veterans, residents, and West Hartford Scout Troops have gathered at Fairview Cemetery to carry on this tradition initiated by the late Jean Paul Berard over 40 years ago. The tradition of placing flags at graves for Memorial Day and Veterans Day is recognized throughout our country. At Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, over 280,000 are placed at headstones to honor every individual buried there.

Hayes-Velhage Post 96 will also be collecting any American flag that needs to be retired. An American flag, when no longer in use, is retired at a ceremony where the flag is burned. Flags will be collected from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 20 at the sign-in area at Fairview Cemetery.

In addition, following the Memorial Day Parade, which will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 29, American Legion Post 96 and the Town of West Hartford will hold a brief Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Connecticut Veterans Memorial located on the corner of North Main Street and Farmington Avenue in West Hartford Center. The keynote speaker is Jerry Gorss. If the weather is inclement, the ceremony will be relocated indoors at the Town Hall Auditorium.

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