Numerous volunteers gathered at the Kirkland Cemetery to honor and commemorate fallen veterans in recognition of Memorial Day.
Sue Contreras, a Kirkland native and long-time c0mmunity volunteer, organized locals who joined in the event on May 23. Contreras was overwhelmed by the turnout and support, sending some volunteers home as they quickly got ahead of schedule.
“It’s like too many, it’s fabulous,” Contreras said. “We have so much to be grateful for in this country and this is such a great way of honoring our veterans. Doesn’t it look so pretty?”
Parks Maintenance staff had prepared the cemetery in advance, placing white crosses at the foot of each local veteran’s gravestone. Volunteers then hammered crosses into the ground and placed U.S. flags in corresponding brackets.
“This is my favorite volunteer event, and I volunteer for everything,” said Bonnie Mcleod, a community volunteer. “I think the purpose of Memorial is getting lost…I was born here [in Kirkland] and I know a lot of the people here, my grandmother is here, my parents are here, so, that’s why I like it.”
According to Contreras, the city had been honoring veterans long before her involvement, but she organized a restoration of the commemorative crosses and pushed for the purchase of higher quality flags through a local Boy Scout troop.
Volunteers were pleased to honor fallen heroes in the morning hours and introspective as they contemplated a service member’s sacrifice.
“I think it’s very important for us to remember the things that service members do and I think this is a great way to honor our veterans,” said Kirkland City Council candidate Amy Falcone, who brought her 1-year-old Rocky to the Memorial Day event.