Volunteers Help Prep Lakeview Cemetery For Memorial Day

Phoenix Goodwill tries his best to plant a flag Thursday evening at Lakeview Cemetery in Jamestown with his sister, Majestic, at left.

More than 200 volunteers made quick work of about 3,500 American flags that needed placement Thursday evening at Lakeview Cemetery in Jamestown.

Melodie Paladino, secretary for the United Veterans Council of Jamestown, said she was impressed with the turnout despite a looming threat of rain. She noted each year has seen an increase in the number of volunteers who help place flags at grave sites of area veterans prior to Memorial Day.

“We had a lot of great volunteers out here, and usually that’s how it goes when they hear that we are planting the flags,” Paladino said.

A short ceremony in Soldiers’ Circle was held prior to the flag placements.

“It seems like we had even more people here this time.” Paladino said. “It definitely reduces on the time it takes to get everything done.”

Among those helping in the cemetery Thursday were members of Boy Scout Troop 135. Stephanie Johnston said the troop has been assisting in the cemetery for many years and noted that the event was a good way to teach scouts about Memorial Day.

“We have a lot of young children that don’t really know much about it,” she said. “This is a great way to try and explain what it’s about and why it’s important.”

Leann and Jim Sweetheimer, both of Jamestown, also helped place flags in the cemetery. Leann Sweetheimer said spending an hour to get grave sites prepared for the holiday was “the right thing to do.”

“It’s just a good way to honor the veterans,” she said, adding this was the sixth year she has volunteered.

Line-up for the Memorial Day parade in Jamestown begins at 9 a.m., with the parade beginning at 10 a.m. Services will follow in Soldiers’ Circle at Lakeview Cemetery.