Scouts, veterans groups and community organizations fanned out across a rainswept Calverton National Cemetery this morning for the Memorial Day flag placement event.

In the solemn annual ritual, volunteers decorate the cemetery’s more than 250,000 graves with American flags. Last year’s flag placement was canceled by the National Cemetery Administration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, groups were required to preregister for flag placement shifts to avoid overcrowding.

Local Boy Scout Troop 94 and Cub Scout Pack 242 worked diligently in a cold, steady rain this morning to decorate the graves in Section 31.

Ongoing pandemic restrictions have canceled the usual Memorial Day ceremonies at national cemeteries again this year. The Avenue of Flags is on display throughout the cemetery to commemorate the holiday and honor the veterans interred at Calverton, the largest and one of the most active national cemeteries currently overseen by the National Cemetery Administration.

On Monday, a wreath will be placed and Taps will be played to honor the sacrifice of those who have given their lives for our country and the service of all veterans, followed by a moment of silence, the National Cemetery Administration said. The solemn ceremony will be posted on the cemetery’s social media sites.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor and attorney. Her work has been recognized with numerous journalism awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She was also honored in 2020 with a NY State Senate Woman of Distinction Award for her trailblazing work in local online news. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.