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Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids Volunteers Plant 5K Flags in Cemetery to Honor Heroes

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids received assistance from local scout troops to plant more than 5,000+ flags at the gravesites of fallen heroes in the cemetery at 2950 Monroe Avenue NE, Grand Rapids on May 18, 2022 at 6 p.m. 

While family, residents, staff and community members have been placing flags individually over the years, the massive volunteer effort to blanket the cemetery with flags began more than 30+ years ago. Scouts were given instructions on how to properly honor the veterans buried at the cemetery. The process begins with a scout placing a flag to the left of the headstone, followed by reciting the veterans name and rendering a salute. Flags are delivered each year by the United Veterans Council of Kent County with special care taken to replace any flags that are torn or tattered.

Remarks were offered by Tiffany Carr, community engagement coordinator for Michigan Veteran Homes. A brief prayer was recited by Boy Scout Troop 344 from Wyoming while the pledge of allegiance was led by local scouts from Comstock Park Cub Scout Pack 3373. The event concluded with a final salute and a performance of Taps led by Rick Conklin, who as a former Boy Scout, participated in the annual event. 

The state veterans cemetery on the campus of Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids was dedicated on May 31, 1886 and hosts the graves of veterans dating back to the Civil War. Formed in the shape of a Maltese cross, initially the cemetery was plotted for 262 graves with room for 1,048 but has grown to more than 5,000 gravesites today. The cemetery is open for visitation Memorial Day weekend and visitors can access the cemetery through the main entrance on Lamberton Street NE.

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