Every year, roughly 5,000 American flags are planted at seven Superior cemeteries to honor veterans for Memorial Day. Volunteers from veterans service organizations and seventh graders from Superior Middle School have traditionally joined in the effort.
“Between the typical volunteers and tremendous help from the middle schoolers, it usually takes one short day to get out all the flags,” said Erick Hudson, interim veterans service officer for Douglas County. “This year we don’t have the middle schoolers to help, due to school not being in session because of COVID-19. And then we have fewer re-occurring volunteers because many are taking health precautions, understandably.”
The Douglas County Veterans Service Office is seeking volunteers willing to help place flags on veteran gravesites May 21-22. People are encouraged to come in teams of two or three; children are able to help if accompanied by an adult.
“If you can help for just an hour or maybe four, we would love to have you,” Hudson wrote on the office’s Facebook page.
Volunteers should bring their own masks and gloves, and wear weather appropriate attire.
“We plan on having very little face-to-face contact with our volunteers, as we want to ensure that safety protocols are followed,” Hudson said. “We plan to utilize tutorial videos, email and instruction sheets to inform our volunteers how to complete the tasks at hand.”
Teams of volunteers will be provided with a poker stick and flags, as well as a map of the area marked with veteran grave sites for them to plant the flags on. Flag planting begins at 9 a.m. each day, but volunteers are welcome any time.
“We encourage volunteers to create their own teams, so that they are comfortable and safe being around these individuals that they will be working with,” Hudson said, and only one member of the team needs to contact the office.
To volunteer, call 715-395-1477 or email Veterans@DouglasCountyWI.org and provide the office with a name, phone number, email, number of people in the team and their availability on May 21-22.