Flags at gravesites honor Monroe veterans’ sacrifice

Girl Scout Troop 34010 members, from left, Kaelyn McEvoy, 11, Julianne Crist, 12, and McKayla Connole, 10, volunteer placing flags at veterans' graves at St. John's Cemetery, 500 Moose Hill Road, Saturday morning.

MONROE, CT — Members of American Legion Sippin-Winspur Post 176 placed miniature American flags at veterans’ gravesites in every cemetery in town Saturday morning.

Victor Yanosy, commander of Post 176, said it was Armed Forces Day, a time to honor veterans from all branches of the U.S. armed services.

“This is for those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said, while standing beside a pile of flags in the bed of his pickup truck, parked at St. John’s Cemetery on Moose Hill Road. “This is for them.”

Victor Yanosy, commander of American Legion Post 176, holds up a flag holder his post places at all Monroe veterans’ gravesites.

Yanosy told his group of volunteers they were going to go to East Village Cemetery next. Among the volunteers were members of Girl Scout troops 34001 and 34010.

“I am so excited,” said Alyson Connole, scout leader of Troop 34010, whose daughter, McKayla, helped the veterans with her friends. “I always wanted to be involved in the process as a little girl, but just the Boy Scouts did this. This year they invited the Girl Scouts.”

“Freedom isn’t free,” Connole said, adding of the veterans who died, “it’s great to honor their bravery.”

Raymond Ganser, a member of Post 176, said all veterans’ graves have a footstone identifying their service to their country, making it easier to find. In addition to placing miniature American flags at veterans’ gravesites, the volunteers replace existing flags that are worn out.

Ganser picked up two older flags that had slipped halfway down their posts and replaced them with fresh new ones. “I don’t leave any bad flags here,” he said.

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