Veterans remembered at cemetery

Published 5:53 pm Saturday, May 27, 2017

Around a dozen people gathered together Saturday morning at New Live Oak Cemetery to place American flags on the graves of soldiers to recognize them in honor of Memorial Day.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3016 and the auxiliary organized the event to pay tribute to those that sacrificed so much for their country.

“We really, really try to honor our veterans in any what that we possibly can,” said auxiliary president Judy Sharbutt. “It’s very important that not only do we honor the veterans who have sacrificed and given their lives, but also the veterans who are living and some that are still serving.”

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The group placed around 1,800 flags around the cemetery.

“We’re going to try to cover all of the veteran’s graves,” Sharbutt said before they started. “We do this every year. Every year we put flags on the graves.”

Sharbutt said for the last several years, they have placed flags on the graves at different cemeteries, and they decided to go back to New Live Oak this year.

“I hope it makes an impact and lets people know that our veterans, living or dead, are still very important to us,” Sharbutt said. “It’s just very important that they know, and this is a visual way that they can see that they’re not forgotten.”

Sharbutt said she knows first-hand what it’s like being a military spouse, with her husband, James, serving in the Vietnam War.

“The sacrifices that they made never go away. They sacrificed their families, their time with their families, the things that they can do with their kids, the different celebrations that their kids may have,” she said. “It’s just very, very important that we remember them.”

Sharbutt said when she places a flag on a grave, she thinks about the person and what they may have gone through in life.

“You think about them. You think about the kind of life that they might have led, what they might have done, what they went through,” Sharbutt said.

“I see the ones from the 60s and 70s, and that of course was the Vietnam War, and my husband was in it, so I really get emotional with those.”

Sharbutt said she hopes that veterans and their families know about the VFW and will utilize it and come and talk to others that have gone through similar experiences.

“We just hope that if there’s any veterans or any spouses out there that would like to come to the VFW and see what we’re about and possibly join the auxiliary or the VFW, [that they will]. It’s a way to talk with people,” Sharbutt said. “It’s just a good place for them to be.”