Honoring the fallen this Memorial Day: The low-key, but really needed way to honor fallen veterans buried in Houston

People say it’s important to honor fallen veterans’ sacrifices every day. Here’s a way to recognize them on a day that isn’t Memorial Day, but it is in the same spirit of the holiday

A volunteer seen placing flags at Houston National Cemetery in this undated photo from FlagsForFallenVets.com, used with permission. (Sue Balch/FlagsForFallenVets.com, Sue Balch/FlagsForFallenVets.com)

HOUSTON – A popular way to honor fallen veterans in Houston and across the country is to place flags on the graves of fallen veterans. The effort is a gesture of recognition of service members’ sacrifices, but an even more welcome sign of support and honor, organizers say, happens at the Houston National Cemetery in the weekend after the flags are placed – recovery of those flags at the cemetery.

Flags for Fallen Veterans Inc. in Houston told KPRC 2 that the flag placement efforts draw thousands of people to help, but recovery of those flags draws a much smaller group of people who retrieve the flags the week after the holiday so the flags will be removed before they can be broken or felled by the elements as time passes.

The recovery effort is perhaps not as glamorous, according to Sue Balch, acting board member of FFV and executive vice president, but it’s just as vital. Balch added that flags must be placed on all of the graves and be completely removed to ensure the organization is invited back to the cemetery for future flag placement. That means, volunteers are important for the placement and especially the removal event.

Here’s how you can take part in this patriotic, selfless effort that, according to Balch, not only takes care of the fallen veterans’ place of rest, but also their place of honor:

Meet on June 4 at 9 a.m. at Houston National Cemetery. Everyone will meet at the Hemicycle. Here’s a photo of the location to make sure you can find your way once you’re there.

You may sign up to volunteer through the website: www.flagsforfallenvets.com.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.