An annual tradition took on new meaning for Lakeview VFW Post #4070 Commander David Swart on Saturday, May 16, as flags were renewed at the Sunrise and I.O.O.F. cemeteries.
Joined by members of the 4-H group Black Cap Sheep Squad, which has around 20 members, they solemnly took out the flags that were put there last year and replaced them with new ones. So those that served in the armed forces and are no longer with us are always remembered.
“I believe that this will help the healing in the community as we start to reopen and recover,” said Swart.
He said that the local community has often been overwhelmed by news from COVID-19, businesses shutting down and life disrupted. Even events planned by the local VFW post have been disrupted as Swart did not want to potentially expose veterans to the virus, as many of them also suffer underlying health issues and are older.
A couple of the members of the 4-H group that participated were Sadie Crumley and Haley Neider, they worked to make sure that every veteran’s grave received a brand new flag. Swart and Ken Kenster, of VFW Post #4070, properly disposed of the old flags in a special ceremony.
Members of the Black Cap Sheep Squad made quick work of Sunset cemetery acting together to replace the old flags with new ones in the holders that are designed to not fall over in bad weather. While most of the veterans buried in Sunrise served in World War II, Korea or later, it does have a few that did serve in World War I. Most of the older veteran’s graves, including someone who served in the Civil War, were at the I.O.O.F. cemetery.
Members of the Black Cap Sheep Squad said that it was a great way to support the community and to remember those veterans that fought to secure the nations freedom, they felt honored to participate in this year’s event even as they worked at maintaining social distancing from each other.
The members that showed up to help were Wade Crumley, Clyde Mobley, Quin Barlow, Sadie Crumley, Victoria Calvin, Breyton Chavez, Jenna Dillavou, Daniel Moss, Hayden Garton, Sarah Garton, Alexis McBain, Quinlyn Muller, Haley Neider, Quincie Neider, Kaitlin Spradley, and Emily Wright.