FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Volunteers will come together to honor our nation’s fallen heroes ahead of Memorial Day.
The cleaning of the headstones and other public events related to Memorial Day were canceled at the Fayetteville National Cemetery last year because of the pandemic but they are back.
Every single headstone at the cemetery will be cleaned. Now because of the weather conditions, the event will now take place – Friday morning.
You will be given all of the tools you need, including a bucket with a soap solution and a cleaning rag.
Bo’s Blessing’s President Jannie Layne says this is a time to remember and honor all of the men and women who fought for this country which includes her son who is buried at the Fayetteville National Cemetery.
“Their headstones are cleaned. It’s just a sign of love and respect. I know that I clean my son’s headstone periodically. They are clean anyway but it’s just another added level of love and attention that you can do and you feel like you are giving back,” said Layne.
There are some safety measures in place to keep everyone safe. Volunteers must wear a mask and social distance. Families will stick within their own groups, get assigned an area of the cemetery and work their way through it.
It is also a memorial day tradition for folks to come together and lay the American flag on the graves of service members.
There are over 9,000 gravesites in this cemetery and each one will be decorated with an American flag.
Layne says there is a method and ceremonial way of placing the flags on the graves and it includes speaking the name of each veteran as the flag is placed because as Layne says “A name spoken is a name never forgotten”.
Family members will get a chance to visit with their loved ones first before the event opens to the public.
“It’s a moment for them to reflect, remember and teach their children about their grandfather and the importance of the Fayetteville National Cemetery. So, we wanted to make sure families have that opportunity.”
Layne encourages families to bring the kiddos to these events because this is an opportunity for them to learn about the importance of service and maintaining a national cemetery like this.
There will also be a virtual memorial day ceremony, with local dignitaries, a video from a gold star family and a brief moment of silence on the 31st.
Layne says these events bring out hundreds of families, and volunteers and she hopes this year is not any different.
Preparation for Memorial Day 2021
Volunteer Registration is on Sign up Genius Link available on Bo’s Blessings Facebook page, or by emailing Jannielayne1206@gmail.com.
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409044EA5AF29A3FE3-honor1 (Honor and Respect Head stone cleaning)
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409044EA5AF29A3FE3-flag (Flag Placement)
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409044EA5AF29A3FE3-flag1 (Flag Removal)