All hands on deck at National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix

PHOENIX — Hundreds of volunteers of all ages descended upon the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix Saturday to place flags commemorating Memorial Day.

Jolie Coleman of Gilbert volunteered to place flags to honor her father, Theodore Charles Coleman, who was laid to rest at the cemetery in 2022.

“We believe there were close to 1,000 volunteers who placed more than 95,000 flags.” said Paula Pedene, executive director and founder of the nonprofit organizer Honoring America’s Veterans.

John Dault, 9, and his brother Neil (background), 11, were among hundreds of volunteers placing flags at gravesites May 25.

It took less than two hours to decorate the cemetery.

“We made a friend at the cemetery and got to visit our Aunt Fran and Uncle Eck,” said volunteer Neil Dault, 11. Neil’s 9-year-old brother called the experience “pretty fun.”

In an email thanking volunteers, Pedene said the flag decorations “made the entire grounds a symbol of remembrance.”

Hundreds of volunteers turned the barren desert cemetery into a field of stars and stripes.

Community Partners