In Full Bloom: Saluting Branches offers way to honor the memory of service members at their final resting places

In Full Bloom: Saluting Branches offers way to honor the memory of service members at their final resting places

Flag flying over Hampton National Cemetery on an annual day of service with Saluting Branches. (The Virginian-Pilot) “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” — Harry S. Truman It is true the debt we owe to the men and women in service to our country can never be repaid, but on occasion the opportunity to give back does arise. Each year, Saluting Branches gathers volunteers across our nation to use their skills for the restoration and preservation of the final resting places of our country’s heroes. The 5th annual workday was held Sept.18. I felt honored to attend. Flag flying over Hampton National Cemetery on an annual day of service with Saluting Branches. (The Virginian-Pilot) Saluting Branches: Arborists United for Veteran Remembrance is a nonprofit group based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, which seeks to honor service men and women by keeping the sites dedicated to them beautiful and safe. Saluting Branches organizes arborists and industry professionals for an eight-hour work day to contribute services to state and national cemeteries across the U.S.. This year, more than 3,500 green industry professionals registered to put in a full day’s work at 67 sites. Hampton National Cemetery was the Saluting Branches site for Southeastern Virginia. The cemetery, which comprises two tracts of land, is not far from where the battle of the ironclad Monitor and Merrimac was fought. In 1866 the United States government classified the site as a national cemetery, although burials began four years prior. Since 1868, with the original land grant of 4.75 acres, the cemetery has swelled to 27 acres. Kelly Merrifield, for the National Park Service, elaborates in the publication “From Necessity to Honor: […]

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