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Help place flags at Biloxi National Cemetery on Saturday

Volunteers place American flags on graves at the Biloxi National Cemetery the Saturday morning before Memorial Day each year.
Volunteers place American flags on graves at the Biloxi National Cemetery the Saturday morning before Memorial Day each year. Sun Herald file

More than 15,000 veterans and their spouses are laid to rest at Biloxi National Cemetery.

On Saturday, the public is invited to place American flags at each grave in preparation for Memorial Day on Monday.

About 23,000 flags furnished by the Department of Veterans Affairs will be handed out Saturday morning to place on the graves.

In 2016, more than 1,000 people placed flags on graves at the cemetery, completing the task in about 30 minutes.

According to the National Cemetery Administration, flags must be placed on the graves in a uniform manner, with one flag per grave site, place 1 foot in front and centered on the upright headstone or flat marker.

In addition, commemorative patches for Boy and Girl Scouts will be handed out to those participating in the community service project.

Volunteers also are encouraged to help pick up flags at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The 54-acre Biloxi National Cemetery was established in 1934, and serves more than half a million veterans in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. It honors veterans with final resting places in a national shrine, and with lasting tributes that commemorate their service to our nation.

Flags were placed on 20,000 graves in observance of Memorial Day

Kate Magandy: 228-896-2344, @kmagandy

If you go

What: Placing of flags at the graves at Biloxi National Cemetery in advance of Memorial Day

When: 8 a.m. May 27, 2017

Where: Biloxi National Cemetery

Parking: All volunteers are encouraged to arrive early and use available parking at the VA Medical Center parking lot adjacent to the parking garage, and the parking garage located north of the cemetery’s main entrance. No parking will be available along Veterans Avenue inside of the VA campus or on Biloxi National Cemetery grounds. As always, please be prepared for Biloxi’s weather conditions.

Other Memorial Day events

  • Crusaders for Veterans and the Memorial Committee will conduct a ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday at the Biloxi National Cemetery, rain or shine. Details: Liz Burchett, 228-860-8578
  • City of Gulfport and VFW Post 2539 will conduct a ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Monday at Barksdale Pavilion in Jones Park at U.S. 90 and 49. Photos will be displayed of the 102 Mississippi service members killed fighting the Global War on Terrorism. Details: Charles Purchner, 228-313-1048
  • American Legion Post 77 will conduct a ceremony at the post home on Waveland Avenue at 11 a.m. Monday. Details: 228-467-9637
  • American Legion Post 139 in Bay St. Louis will place flags on veteran graves in the area at 9 a.m. Sunday, and hold a brief ceremony at the gravesite of the post’s namesake, Clement R. Bontemps, at St. Mary Cemetery followed by a service at the monument outside the post club house at 645 Green Meadow Road. Details: 228-467-9000
  • Cities of Gautier and Vancleave along with American Legion Post 1992 will conduct a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Tower in front of City Hall at 11 a.m. Monday. Lunch will follow at the Post, 3824 Old Spanish Trail. Details: 228-497-8000
  • Memorial Day Sing at 10 a.m. Monday hosted by Campground Baptist Church, 20577 Mississippi 53, will feature The Bibletones, The Perrys, The Diplomats and Damascus Road. Catfish or chicken lunch plates available for $10. Details: 228-832-6924
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