The city of Lewiston seeks volunteers to place almost 7,500 flags on Saturday, May 21, at the individual veterans gravestones within the cemeteries around the city.

People who belong to any groups (such as churches, community services and businesses) are asked to spread the word.

In 2001, the state passed a law that requires municipalities to purchase and place individual American flags at the gravestone of every veteran buried in each cemetery located in that town. The flags must be in place for Memorial Day each year, according to a news release from the city.

Lewiston has 13 cemeteries and places almost 7,500 flags. All work is done by community volunteers. For many of the smaller cemeteries, the abutting neighbors usually place the flags each year. For the two largest cemeteries — Riverside and St. Peters — there are service organizations which have adopted these cemeteries over the years and take care of placing the flags for the city.

These groups welcome volunteers to assist them at the following locations:

• St. Peters Cemetery, Switzerland Road, 10 a.m, meet at the Mausoleum, St. Peter’s Cemetery, Switzerland Road. There are approximately 4,000 flags for this location.


For more information, call Jerry Dewitt at 207-576-0376, the L/A Veterans Council are the coordinators for this location.

• Riverside Cemetery, 192 Summer St., 9 a.m.; rain date 9 a.m. Saturday, May 28. There are approximately 1,600 flags for this location.

The Knights of Columbus are the coordinators for this location. For more information, call Leo Baillargeon at 207-577-7424.

Teams of five to 10 volunteers will be assigned to an area to cover the cemetery in a grid fashion in order to not miss a stone. There is no master list of veterans buried at the cemetery, so volunteers will need to walk each row of stones and read the inscription on each gravesite. If military service is listed, a flag will be placed. This is a fairly time-consuming process, so many volunteers are appreciated.

Face masks are optional based upon the comfort level of the individual volunteer. Social distancing will be encouraged.

Work gloves are encouraged, volunteers should bring their own hand sanitizer. Wear sneakers or boots in case the grass is wet.


Bring a screwdriver to use to poke a hole in the grass. It makes it much easier to place the wooden dowel of the flag into the ground if you make the hole first.

Be sure to bring a water bottle, bug spray, hat and sunscreen and be mindful of ticks.

Children/youth are encouraged to participate, but must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, call Kathleen M. Montejo, city clerk and registrar of voters, at 207-513-3124, or reach out to the event coordinators.

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