Volunteers Place Flags On Gravesites At National Cemetery

Published: Monday, May 25, 2015 - 11:28am
Updated: Monday, May 25, 2015 - 12:02pm
(Courtesy of National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona)
Volunteers place American flags on gravesites at the National Cemetery.

Memorial Day is a chance to pay our respects to the men and women killed in the line of duty or who are missing in action.

At the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, volunteers and staff honor those individuals by coming together to place flags on the gravesites.

It’s a solemn event, but one that gives participants a sense of pride and a chance to say thanks. 

On the Saturday morning before Memorial Day, volunteers from all walks of life come to the National Cemetery in north Phoenix to place thousands of 8-inch by 12-inch flags on the gravesites. Throughout the cemetery, staff stand by with pallets of flags. A hole is made at the base of the grave marker.

"The families and everyone follows through and they place the flag and they move on," said Deborah Ryan who works at the cemetery. "So we start in the middle of the cemetery and we work out and we have flags on 60,000 graves within an hour."

Ryan said the day after the Memorial Day holiday, staff and volunteers take the flags off the graves, roll them up and bundle them into groups of 25 for storage.