Flagging it for the weekend

This morning, with Sweetie feeling under the weather, I took the kids to join a group going to place flags at at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.

We figured that approximately 100 volunteers would complete the 40,000+ grave markers in 3-4 hours. then, everyone showed up: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Junior-Marines, biker gangs, families, veterans, active duty soldiers,... everyone. Five hundred people?,... A thousand?!!! A sea of humanity had descended on the cemetery this morning. At one point it was shoulder-to-shoulder, like Disneyland.

Our group loaded up bundles of flags, headed out to a fairly uncrowded section, and set to work.

The desert floor proved to be very tough to stick flags into. Of course, the Boy Scouts were well prepared with custom-made, welded-steel, hole-punching contraptions of precise efficiency. They positively started ripping along, peppering their trail with fluttering flags. Never without at least one of my tools, I employed my beloved Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool's saw blade to poke holes in the tough soil for some of our group.

Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool
Don't leave home without it.
Gracie liked to stab the flags into the ground with the unbridled gusto of an explorer of old, claiming new found shores for King and country. 

It was humbling to read the names and dates of the heroes interned there. Our section was from those who had passed around 2003, but had served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. Sometimes, they had served in three conflicts.

With the volume of volunteers on site, we finished in an hour or so. Considering the solemn nature of the location, I don't consider the experience "fun", but it was certainly rewarding. I enjoyed hanging out with the 30 for 30 team again. It was a good experience for the kids as well.

Have a great Memorial Weekend all! Do some projects, put some flame to meat, and enjoy the time off.

Oh yeah, can we get some more stars and stripes back in our neighborhoods too? I don't get it, why am I the only one flying a flag on my street each patriotic holiday?

Remember our heroes, past and present.

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