Flags to be Placed at National Veterans Cemetery in Bourne Saturday

Volunteers placing flags at the Massachusetts National Cemetery.

Volunteers placing flags at the Massachusetts National Cemetery.

BOURNE – Operation Flags for Vets will be planting flags on the graves at the Massachusetts National Veterans Cemetery in Bourne on Saturday and organizers are looking for volunteers.

A short ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. before 68,000 flags are planted.

The event, which is held prior to Veterans Day and Memorial Day, was started by Paul Monti in 2011 in honor of his son Jared, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.

Monti said the event has become a tradition for most volunteers.

“It’s a family affair for many people,” Monti said. “We have entire families with the kids and their parents and their grandparents who show up.”

Monti said it is heartwarming family event.

The SFC Jared C. Monti Charitable Foundation is also accepting donations to replace the current flags.

“They’ve been out 11 times in that Cape Cod wind and rain and it’s time we retired the flags that are there,” Monti said. “We’re in the process of fundraising to buy 70,000 flags so that we have enough because the cemetery is increasing by about 2,500 a year.”

The cost of the new flags would be about $70,000.

Checks can be made out to the SFC Jared C. Monti Charitable Foundation in care of Paul Monti, 408 Center Street, Raynham, MA 02767.

The flags will be removed on Sunday, November 13 at 10 a.m.

Monti fought for over 4 years to be able to place flags at the graves after he was told flags could not be placed on the graves because they interfered with the maintenance of the cemetery.

“I thought honoring the veterans was a lot more important than mowing the lawn,” he said.

Monti finally received approval to plant the flags as long as he purchased the flags, planted them, removed them and stored them.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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