Flags in containers ready to be bundled

Tributes build a thankful spirit and camaraderie for veterans

Volunteers from USAA, Bank of America, Mayo Clinic, Humana, AirGas, Scout Troop 531, Scout Pack 323, and many others joined in on Saturday morning, June 3, to assist the nonprofit Honoring America’s Veterans in gathering tens of thousands of flags from the internment sites at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.

After the flags were gathered into the containers, the team split into eight groups, who then readied themselves to prepare the flags for storage. The damaged flags were set aside for burning for a future Flag Retirement Ceremony. The rest of the flags were bundled into bunches of 30, smoothed out flat on tables, and then rolled up with a rubber band to keep them taut. They were then placed in storage containers where they will remain until next year, when volunteers will join in the flag activity next year ahead of Memorial Day.

It took the volunteers four hours to finish the work they set out to do, and they were so gracious and kind in their sentiments to the Cemetery staff and to the other volunteers.

“Honoring our veterans with this special flag placement and retrieval activity was touching,” said HAV President Brian Ishmael. “We couldn’t have done it without the hundreds of volunteers supporting us and collaborating with the VA staff. Events like this can boost pride and patriotism in our community, and that’s important to us,” he added.

You can learn more about HAV’s programs to recognize and honor veterans online at www.honoringamericasveterans.org.


 Korean War Alliance Ceremony

Another activity upcoming this weekend is the recognition of the 70-year alliance between the USA and the Republic of South Korea. Many may recall that South Korea has remained a democratic republic thanks to US involvement. The 20th Arizona Korean Association in Phoenix will host an anniversary event to commemorate this alliance from 4-6 p.m., Sunday, June 11, at Mesa Community College Theater, 1833 W. Southern Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85202. Korean War Veterans, family members, and the community are invited to participate. To register, contact the Arizona Korean Association via email at AzKoreans@gmail.com or call them at  602-351-5754.

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