LEWISTON, Maine — Dozens of volunteers showed up Thursday to place flags on veterans’ graves at Riverside Cemetery in Lewiston.
They do this every year, but this year volunteers had to follow safety guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual event is put together by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic-based charity organization.
About 1,600 flags were placed across the cemetery, recognizing local veterans who have passed.
The goal is to have the cemetery decorated with a sea of red, white and blue ahead of Memorial Day.
This year, small groups and individuals walked through the cemetery to practice social distancing.
The Knights of Columbus typically only have a handful of men participate so they were thrilled with Thursday’s turnout.
“We don’t have as many men that can do it now because of age so we are announcing it for the public. I didn’t expect to have as many as we did today. This is a great turnout for us,” said Leo Ballargeon, with the Knights of Columbus.
Volunteers are needed again on Saturday at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Lewiston at 10 a.m. The event is rain or shine.
All volunteers are required to wear masks and are asked to bring their own hand sanitizer.
Gloves are optional but encouraged. Social distancing will be enforced, according to organizers.