Belfast VFW hosts event honoring local service members ahead of Memorial Day

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 4:38 PM EDT
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BELFAST, Maine (WABI) - It’s a time to reflect as Memorial Day 2023 approaches.

A tradition continued between Ames Elementary, local law enforcement and the Belfast VFW to place flags on the final resting place of local service members ahead of the holiday.

Students arrived at Grove cemetery to help local Veterans place American flags on the final resting places of local service members.

“We’re not here to decorate the graves, we’re here to remember those who served, we’re not remembering their deaths but their lives,” said James Roberts, Commander of Belfast VFW. “In this cemetery, we’re doing the remember, honor, and teach program where we remember those who served and we honor their service and we’re teaching the next generation what it means for freedom, that freedom is not free.”

Local law enforcement was happy to share this moment with the community but mostly with the youth.

“We know some of the kids that are coming here personally, we know that they’re very excited about this opportunity,” said Jason Trundy, sheriff of Waldo County.

4th grade teacher Sarah Nelson couldn’t have been prouder of her students.

“We really want kids to understand it’s an opportunity for respect and remembrance for the members of our military that gave so much,” said Nelson.

For one student in particular, this event means so much more.

“It means a lot to me, because knowing that my dad’s out there and he’s helping it, I know that I’m helping too,” said Gigi Desrochers, Ames Elementary student.

The choice of flower sends a message to the community.

“The poppies mean a lot because they show remembrance and hope,” said Desrochers.