More than a head­stone VETER­ANS POST

The Weekly Vista - - Fun & Games -

Twice a year in na­tional ceme­ter­ies across the coun­try, veter­ans are hon­ored with cer­e­monies and vis­its. Me­mo­rial Day has long been the day to honor those who died in ser­vice to our coun­try. Now, with the gen­er­ous do­na­tions of Worces­ter Wreath and the non-profit Wreaths Across Amer­ica, tens of thou­sands of veter­ans' graves also are dec­o­rated at Christ­mas … as they should be. But I have a chal­lenge for you. We all live near a ceme­tery or two. Small ceme­ter­ies dot com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try, and many of them don't get the at­ten­tion they de­serve. Some are not tended well nor vis­ited of­ten.

My chal­lenge to you is this: In­ves­ti­gate a lo­cal ceme­tery and iden­tify the graves of a half-dozen veter­ans. The older the grave, the bet­ter, as there will not likely be fam­ily that vis­its. Note the names and dates of birth of those half-dozen veter­ans (as well as the lo­ca­tions, should the ceme­tery be large).

Take the graves of those veter­ans into your care. Visit each grave at least twice a year, and not on the days that oth­ers will — Me­mo­rial Day and dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son. Pick an­other day, as well as the vet­eran's birth­day.

This project needn't cost much. Check your lo­cal big-box or craft stores for small flags, per­haps 4 by 6 inches, on sticks. Or look on­line for sites such as www.united-states-flag.com (877-734-2458). Its flags are made in the U.S.A. The 4-by-6inch flags on 10-inch wooden sticks cost as low as 15 cents each.

Take along a pair of clip­pers and trim around the head­stone. Take the kids or grand­kids along, if you wish, and teach them about hon­or­ing veter­ans.

Then, is­sue the same chal­lenge to oth­ers. It's the right thing to do.

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