West Springfield honors veterans with gravesite flags

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In honor of this Memorial Day weekend, the West Springfield community volunteered to put flags on the gravestones of veterans to keep their names alive.

“They say that you die twice in your life, once when you actually die, and once somebody forgets your name. We do not want to forget the names of these veterans who served our country,” expressed Young Marine Sergeant Bradford Devillier.

The West Springfield community put up about 1,700 flags to honor and recognize our fallen heroes for Memorial Day weekend. Volunteers worked in pairs to put up all of the flags at the St. Thomas Cemetery on Saturday. This flag placing event was part of a city-wide effort to remember those who served our country.

According to the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research organization, Massachusetts is home to approximately 380,000 of the nation’s more than 21-million veterans.

The West Springfield Director of Veteran Services, Jorge Santiago says it’s important to honor the country’s fallen heroes for their service. “Fought for this country, fought for our freedom, and we don’t want to forget them. We want to memorize them, remember their names, and just by placing a flag gives honor of the service they did to the country.”

Santiago told 22News that before this the West Springfield community put flags on graves at five other local cemeteries, but St. Thomas is the biggest one.

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