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L-A Vets seek help to place memorial flags

The L-A Veterans Council needs you!

If you would like to help place individual flags at the gravestones of the 5,000 veterans buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Lewiston, report to contact person Jerry Dewitt at the Mausoleum on Switzerland Road in Lewiston on Sunday, May 18 at 1 p.m.

Each year, towns and cities are required by state law to purchase and place individual American flags at the gravestone of every veteran buried in their cemeteries by Memorial Day. Lewiston places over 7,000 flags in its 13 cemeteries, 5,000 of which are placed in St. Peter’s Cemetery alone.

Volunteers carry out this work. While the L-A Veterans Council coordinates the work for St. Peter’s Cemetery, many of their members are elderly and are unable to assist. They need your help.

There is no master list of veterans buried in the cemetery, so the process is to divide the cemetery into a grid to check every stone. Working in teams of ten, volunteers walk each row of stones, reading the inscription on each gravesite in their assigned section. If military service is listed on a stone, a flag is placed there. Since this is a time-consuming process, many volunteers are needed.

Volunteers should wear sneakers or boots in case the grass is wet; bring a screwdriver to poke a hole in the grass for each flag (this makes it easier to sink the wooden dowel into the ground); bring a water bottle if it’s a hot day; and bring bug spray, a hat and sunscreen.

Children and youth are welcome but must be supervised by an adult; they may not be dropped off and left. Wearing company or organization t-shirts is welcome and encouraged.

“Thank you for your supporting veterans who don’t have families to remember their service on this Memorial Day,” says Dewitt.

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