EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) – Hundreds of volunteers woke up early Saturday morning to help get Rhode Island’s Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery ready for Memorial Day.
Volunteers spent the day planting American flags at each of the more than 34,000 graves. Those planting the flags included local Cub Scouts and their families, many of whom have personal connections to the military, like Wayne Holbrook and his family.
“My whole family, all my uncles, had all been in the Army and my uncle Wayne, who I’m named after, was in the Army,” Holbrook said. “He was in the 82nd Airborne, and so we always just used to look up to him when we were kids.”
In keeping with family tradition, Holbrook spent eight years in the Army and spent time in Iraq and South Korea. His ten-year-old son, who was planting flags with his fellow Scouts, thinks he might one day join the Navy.
“They’ve given everything for service for our country, and I think that’s the least we can do, to honor them with a flag at this time of year,” Cub Master Linda Norton of Pack 158 said.
Rhode Island’s official Memorial Day ceremony will take place at the cemetery at 1 p.m. Monday.