Photo: Denise Civiletti

Thousands of Scouts from across Suffolk County turned out for the 25th annual flag placement day at Calverton National Cemetery Saturday morning.

Some 6,000 Scouts and their family members placed flags on each of the 225,000 graves in the country’s largest — and busiest — national cemetery. The flags are placed in advance of the Memorial Day holiday, when the cemetery draws thousands of visitors who come to pay their respects to the veterans buried there. Several hundred also attend services at the cemetery on Memorial Day.

“We’re here to give respect to the military,” said 7-year-old Kaden Linnen of Aquebogue.

“We do this to honor the soldiers who died,” Julien Micheels, age 6, added.

The boys are students at Aquebogue Elementary School and members of Troop 242 who were placing flags on gravesites in Section 10, off Calverton Drive.

“We’re honoring the people who served our country,” said Sarah Swotkiewicz, 6, of South Jamesport. She is a member of Daisy Troop 434, which her mother Jolene Thompson co-leads with DanaRose Kosinski of Aquebogue. The Daisies were working in nearby Section five, alongside Brownies and Girl Scout Juniors.

Members of American Legion posts also placed flags on gravesites in Calverton this morning.

The volunteers who place flags return next weekend to remove them. They are stored at the cemetery and distributed to the volunteers just before the 9:30 a.m. start of the flag placement event.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.