Thousands of graves decorated for ceremony: ‘This is the day for those who could not be here’

Local News

As you enjoy your BBQ’s and time with family on this Memorial Day, lets remember what today is all about. At Forest Lawn Cemetery, in Buffalo, thousands of veterans were remembered. 

Throughout the day Sunday and early Monday morning, local boy scouts and girl scouts planted thousands of American flags over the graves of veterans at the cemetery. A tour guide at the cemetery said it was hard to say exactly how many veterans are buried there, but to paint a picture of just how many flags were planted in the ground, he said there are about 2,000 veterans who served in just the Civil War. 

“People died for our freedom, and I feel like everybody who died serving our country deserves a flag,” Dan Dale said, a boy scout who believes he planted about 40 flags.

“This is the day for those who could not be here… those who could not make it back,” Anthony Solina said, an Army veteran. 

After the graves were decorated, a ceremony started around 9 a.m. at Forest Lawn Cemetery. It included several speakers who touched on why we’re here today. Speakers placed wreaths on the monuments at the cemetery, there was a gun salute, and ‘Taps’ was performed.

Included in the crowd were students from Maritime Charter School. 

“I hear a lot of times, ‘Happy Memorial Day,’ Cdr Tony Deaville said, a Navy veteran and teacher at the school. “It’s nice to have cookouts and everything, but it’s more of a somber occasion.”

Cdr Deaville likes to remind his students that Memorial Day was started after the Civil War, to remember the dramatic loss of life. It’s a day to remember our fallen heroes. 

“It is a good way to kind of remember what happened, how did we get here, and just to reflect,” he said. “It’s good to reflect in the past just to know, lets not do that again. Let’s learn from our mistakes.”

And MSGT David Buell, an active duty reservist at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, was in the crowd today with his two kids. He said he’s been taking them here every year for the past six years. 

“I just felt it was very important they grew up learning, understanding what freedom is all about,” he said.

“It’s for the people who died in other wars,” his son Brenton said. 

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