DEAR SUN SPOTS: As you may remember from previous years, the City of Lewiston recruits volunteers to place approximately 7,500 flags by veterans’ gravestones in cemeteries around the city.

The state passed a law in 2001 that requires municipalities to purchase and place individual American flags at the gravestone of every veteran buried in each cemetery in town. The flags must be in place for Memorial Day each year. Lewiston has 13 cemeteries.

For many of the smaller cemeteries in Lewiston, the abutting neighbors usually place the flags. For the larger cemeteries – Mt. Hope, Riverside and St. Peter’s – there are service organizations that have adopted these cemeteries and place the flags for us.

Every year we ask for assistance with this large community project. If you belong to a group such as scouts, a church, a community service group or a business, please pass along this information to help spread the word. We’d also appreciate it if you would share this information through your social media.

We’re seeking volunteers for these locations: St. Peter’s Cemetery at Switzerland Road, Saturday, May 25, at 10 a.m. and meet at the mausoleum. Jerry Dewitt is the contact person  and the L/A Veterans Council is the coordinator for this location. There are about 4,000 flags to place.

Teams of five to 10 volunteers will be assigned to an area of the cemetery and will cover it in a grid fashion. There is no master list of veterans’ graves so volunteers walk each row and read the grave inscriptions. If military service is listed on the stone, a flag is placed.

We recommend that volunteers wear appropriate footwear and bring a screwdriver to make a hole in the ground to make it easier to place the flag’s wooden dowel. Also bring work gloves, drinking water, bug repellent, a hat and sunscreen. Wearing your organization’s  T-shirts is welcome and encouraged.

Children are welcome, but we ask that you do not drop off minors to do this work without adult supervision.

If you know of any groups who might be interested in helping out – church groups, youth groups, or other service groups, please pass the word along to anyone who might be interested.

Jerry Dewitt, on behalf of the L&A Veterans Council, expresses appreciation to the volunteers for their efforts: “Thank you for your support of veterans without families to remember their service on this Memorial Day.”

If you have any questions, please contact me at 513-3124 or [email protected]. Thanks everyone!

— Kathy, Lewiston city clerk

ANSWER: This is a really big job, but a very meaningful one. What a sight it will be to see all those bright new flags waving in the spring breeze! Please plan to help out if you can. As they say, “Many hands make light work!”

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: