Remembering those who have served

By Louis Bettcher | May 17, 2017
Photo by: Louis Bettcher Placing flags on veteran graves May 16 is, front row from left, Norman Carver, Frank Carr, Geoff Chapman, Dolores Hyssong, John Hyssong, Jim Hyssong; and back, Phil Harris, Rosey Gerry, Jeff Sukeforth, Kip Stinson, Cecil Dennison.

Camden — Members of the Camden Legion Hall and local volunteers placed flags and memorial markers at the graves of veterans in Mountain View Cemetery May 16.

Men who served in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines participated in the annual event, which also takes place at Oak Hill Cemetery. The flags will remain at the headstones until Veteran's Day, when they are collected by members of the local Boy Scouts troop.

Each year volunteers place nearly 800 flags between the two cemeteries at the headstones of men and women who have served in the armed forces. The tradition goes back "decades, longer than you and me put together," said Cecil Dennison, who organizes the flags and flag holders for the event.

After a week of rain, it was a lovely sunny day Tuesday as the group meandered the sloping expanse of the cemetery, making sure that no veteran was missed. Dennison said that in previous years only a handful of people had attended the event, and credits Jeff Sukeforth and Rosey Gerry for keeping Legion members informed through email newsletters.

"The flags mean a lot to the community, and to living relatives. It's through no one's fault, but they'll let us know if we miss one," said Sukeforth. Some of the headstones of veterans at Mountain View Cemetery date back to the Civil War and the Spanish American War.

"It's never a chore. Some of us can't get enough of this," said Dennison, who has also participated in placing flags in Lincolnville and is involved in the Maine Old Cemetery Association.

Dolores Hyssong places a memorial flag at a headstone in Mountain View Cemetery on May 16. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
The tradition of members of the Camden Legion Hall placing memorial flags in the local cemeteries has been around for decades. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Jim Hyssong, left, and Frank Carr carry flags through Mountain View Cemetery in Camden on May 16. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Frank Carr carries a handful of flags to be placed at the graveside of veterans on May 16 in Camden. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Kip Stinson assists in placing memorial flags at the graves of veterans in Mountain View Cemetery. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Some of the gravestones in Camden's Mountain View Cemetery date back to the Civil War. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Cecil Dennison stands next to a collection of flags and memorial markers which he organized for the Camden Legion Hall on May 16. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
Rosey Gerry, Geoff Chapman and Frank Carr get a lift after a job well done at Mountain View Cemetery in Camden on May 16. (Photo by: Louis Bettcher)
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