This year, for both the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day, Marine Corps League flags will be on display at the graves of Marines and Navy Corpsmen buried at Fremont’s Memorial Cemetery, honoring their service.
The commemoration comes courtesy of the Fremont Area Marine Corps League, who this year, is starting a new tradition to honor the service men and women who came before them.
The goal is to display the Marine Corps League flags at veterans’ graves twice a year: once as part of a group effort for the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day, and a second time on an individual basis, with each member of the Marine Corps League assigned to an individual Marine’s grave.
A group of almost 20 members of the Marine Corps League came out on Oct. 28 to lay the flags as a group for the first time, ahead of the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day, which take place Nov. 10 and 11, respectively.
Additionally, all of the 30 or so members of the Marine Corps League have been assigned to a specific grave, and will lay out a flag at their assigned Marine’s grave at a time of their choosing some time over the next year, says Jason House, commandant for the Marine Corps League.
“Whether it’s around Memorial Day, or whether it’s around the time the Marine passed, or his birthday, or whenever they see fit,” House said.
House said he came up with the idea after he learned about a Memorial Day tradition in France, where a number of French citizens lay out flags at the graves of American soldiers who died in the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I.
“That’s kind of what sparked me to say, hey let’s do something like that,” House said. “We don’t know the history of the graves we’re doing, we don’t know what sacrifices they made during it all and everything, so it’s just trying to pay some respect to our fellow Marines.”
As for the flag-laying event on Oct. 28, House said that the Marines who attended were excited to participate, helping each other try and find their assigned Marine’s location.
Additionally, while the event started with the Memorial Cemetery, they hope to over time include the Ridge Cemetery.
To submit a Marine, Navy FMF, Navy Corpsman or Chaplain grave, email the Marine Corps League at MCLFremont@gmail.com or call House at (402) 720-2434.