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Volunteers give Stars and Stripes to deceased veterans

John Collins of Roswell from Cub Scouts Pack 26 and pack member Christian Sedillo place a flag at the headstone of a deceased veteran Saturday morning in South Park Cemetery. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The Roswell chapter of the American Legion expected more than 75 volunteers from its organization as well as from area Boy Scout troops to place U.S. flags in South Park Cemetery for a couple of hours early Saturday morning.
Jimmy Montoya said that the group puts about 3,500 to 4,000 flags near headstones of deceased U.S. military personnel as a tribute during Memorial Day weekend.
The group has been coordinating the effort, which includes removing the flags Monday, at the cemetery at 3101 S. Main St., since 2010, said Montoya.
“It is to pay tribute to our veterans, our fallen heroes,” he said. “We do it as a sign of respect and honor.”
Former U.S. Army Nurse Corps member Stacy Sexton was volunteering with her sons, including one from Boy Scouts Troop No. 2.
“I want them to understand the day is not about barbecues. It is not about the day off. It is not about the last day of school,” she said. “It is about the people who have given their lives and their service to make sure that we have the simple things and the luxuries of life. We are fortunate to have what we do, and, without them, we might not.
A ceremony at the Gen. Douglas McBride Veterans Cemetery, part of South Park Cemetery, will occur Monday at 10 a.m. with speaker Maj. Randall Bates of the New Mexico Army National Guard.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.