ITHACA, N.Y. — On Saturday, a group of community members came together to honor the men and women who served in the military by making sure every veteran buried in Calvary Cemetery in Ithaca had a flag by their grave site. The group was a mix of cub scouts and girl scouts from Newfield, members of Tompkins County Probation, Cornell Police and others.
One of the organizers Saturday and member of Tompkins County Probation, Bill Apgar said it was a great opportunity for the youth cub scouts to get a chance to serve the community. Also with family who served in the military, Apgar said, “It’s just something we should do.”
A handful of cub scouts from Cub Scout Pack 34 in Newfield, and a couple of girl scouts met up with Apgar and other members of the community at about 10 a.m. Saturday to get started. After a quick demonstration, they fanned out with their parents and cub scout leaders to find graves that needed flags. As the kids would plant the flags, they would pause to read the names and salute them as they placed the flag into the ground.
Corri Haus, committee chair of Cub Scout Pack 34, having the kids help place flags Saturday teaches them to respect their communities. They also placed flags at a cemetery in Newfield last week.
“It shows reverence and respect to the fallen heroes that have served our country,” Haus said.
By the dozens of flags planted along the rows of the cemetery after the kids worked their way through, it was clear how many men and women buried there served in the military. Calvary Cemetery, located on Five Mile Drive in Ithaca, and was originally purchased in 1915. Some people buried there were born as early as the mid-1800s.
The group Saturday was one of several that made sure all cemeteries in Tompkins County had flags place by veterans’ graves ahead of Memorial Day. Services and parades are planned across the county to honor the people who died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The VFW supplied flags and equipment, but because they didn’t have enough people to make it to all the cemeteries, groups like Cub Scout Pack 34 in Newfield stepped in to help.
For anyone in the Newfield or Enfield area interested in learning more about the cub scouts, Cub Scout Pack 34 is holding a recruitment and information night at 6 p.m. Monday, June 3, in the Newfield Elementary School cafeteria. For more information, visit bpcouncil.org.
View photos from Saturday’s flag placing below. All photo by Managing Editor Kelsey O’Connor.