Volunteers stake flags on veterans’ headstones memorializing those laid to rest

Volunteers stake flags on veterans’ headstones memorializing those laid to rest

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Volunteers took time out of their day to memorialize those who fought for our freedom, putting flags at headstones to recognize all the veterans laid to rest at Eastern Cemetery.

The Eastern Cemetery, located on Baxter Avenue, has been abandoned for several decades. That’s where Savannah Darr, Vice President of the Board for The Friends of Eastern Cemetery comes in. She said her team is there to help clean up and refine the landscape.

”We also look to memorialize and celebrate the people who are buried here," Darr said. "[We] help the families find their loved ones. Memorial weekend is great, not only do we get to place flags at veterans’ graves, but there are a lot of families here visiting their loved ones’ grounds and graves.”

The Burris’ don’t have family in the 30-acre cemetery, but they are parents of two sons in the military and volunteered their time to show their respects.

”It’s about the men and women who are [buried here]," Cathy Burris said. "And their sacrifice and what they’ve done. We have two sons in the military right now and its important that we remember what they’ve done for us. They fought for our freedom and given us the right to stand here and talk.”

Cathy and Rodney Burris brought their granddaughter to teach a valuable lesson on Memorial Day weekend.

”I know everyone is afraid of the coronavirus," Rodney Burris said. "But we want to each our granddaughter, that service, love and honor... if we lose those, the virus is nothing.”

Darr said there’s at least a thousand veteran graves and about 16-thousand headstones in total. However, Darr said more show up over time. As the ground shifts, headstones sink, which requires landscaping crews to cut the grass to help clean up the cemetery, that was once bare and unkempt, but now a sea of red white and blue..

”To see people that serve like that unconditional love without any reward, that’s what its all about," Burris said. "That’s what gets us excited and to step up to the plate a bit more.”

For information on how you can volunteer, visit the Friends of the Eastern Cemetery’s website.

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