Friday, May 22, 2015

Week 35: Flags of Freedom

To say this week's Kindness Countdown activity was humbling is an understatement.

I contacted Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee a few months ago in preparation for this year's Memorial Day weekend, requesting my family's names be placed on their volunteer list to place American flags on the graves of the veterans buried there.

Before arriving, my husband and I talked about proper cemetery behavior with our children and reminded them what Memorial Day is all about.

Our family was assigned a small portion of the 38,000 graves, given a tutorial on inserting the flags into their desired location (one foot-length from the stone), and shown to the bin of flags to be distributed.

Because the ground was dry, inserting the flags required two hands and a little elbow grease.  We took turns holding the large bundles of flags, carefully handing flags out one at a time to those planting them in the ground.  I was thankful we gave the kids a refresher course on proper flag protocol before arriving so they knew not to drop or lay them on the ground.

Photo compliments of WISN-12 Milwaukee who filmed and aired a segment on the Kindness Countdown project on May 21, 2015. Viewing is available here:

We were fairly quiet as we worked.  Being surrounded by the striking white stones, you couldn't help but feel the sacrifices made for our freedom.  Viewing the names of each veteran who so bravely defended our great nation was quite moving.

Once we completed our assigned section we visited the area of the cemetery where my grandfather and uncle/godfather are buried and placed flags at their graves as well.  And then I shed a few tears as I, once again, told my children about these two great men who proceeded them in our loving family and whose loss if felt daily. 

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13

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