This year, as our Guests and Colleagues marched through the cemeteries of Methuen, flags in hand, there were more of us than ever. Our American Training Family volunteers annually, and has been doing so for well over a decade now, to replace the American Flags at the graves of local Veterans ahead of Memorial Day.
This powerful event, arranged by our Colleague Joe Robichaud, a Vietnam Veteran, grows each year, with 14 volunteers participating this May 16th.
“I do this each year because I love to do it,” he said. “It’s meaningful for me as a Veteran myself.”
Over the years, Joe has brought several Guests and Colleagues with him, many who return each year, and always a few new volunteers. This year’s crew included Colleagues Joe, Leona, and Marileidy, as well as Guests Crystal, Tito, John R., Jeff, John D., Sapehn, Frances, Greg, Francisco, Megan, and Thanh.
“It makes me so proud that our Guests want to do it with me,” said Joe.
Jeff, who has been participating since 2005, said he loves replacing the flags because it’s so meaningful. “I hope it makes the Veterans’ families feel good.”
Megan, a first-timer, said she volunteered because she wanted to do something a little different by getting out into the community to replace flags with her friends. “I like helping and I hope the families feel proud and think the new flags are wonderful.”
With the intention to give back to our community while sending a message of support and gratitude to the families of our Veterans in these cemeteries, our volunteer team expressed a hope that the newly placed, fresh flags, with their bright red, white and blue colors show families that our country and our community appreciate their sacrifice.
Thank you to all of our Veterans, all who served our nation. We remember and honor you this Memorial Day.
Check out a few photos from this year’s trip below, and past year’s trips here.