The eNewletter of the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation
The Board of The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation hope all are keeping safe with your families during this pandemic.
Memorial Day Update
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) continues to be closed for visitors until at least May 22. This week the ANC Administration will make a final decision regarding Memorial Day visits and flower handouts. We’ll let you know when we learn their decision.
Most of the Cemeteries under the authority of the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) are open to visitors under “Social Distance” protocol. Many of you or your group plan to receive a box of 250-500 flowers to place during Memorial Day Weekend. Please check with your Cemetery Director for guidance.
Quotes from French High School Students Who Laid Flowers at Arlington National Cemetery
Brayan Boucheron, 15 years old:
When I laid my flowers at graves, I felt a little awkward: I had not been able to help the brave men I was honoring for their courage in combat… They had died without my being able to help them in any way…
Mattéo Impératrice, 13 years old:
Arlington National Cemetery is the most heartbreaking site we have visited during our trip. I was very honored to put flowers on some graves, but I also felt that I did not deserve such an honor, as if I were out of place… However I did my best to fulfill the mission I had been given and thus honor the memory of these men and women.
Laurine Ulmann, 13 years old:
Our flower laying took place in section 67 of the Cemetery, and our undertaking was not a trivial matter. I did not fear reading the names of the deceased properly, and did not fear honoring properly those who had lost their lives in battle. So, to make sure my tribute to these brave men and women was up to their courage, I took my time and read every name twice. I had tears in my eyes while doing so. As I just said, our flower laying was not a trivial matter at all…
Lou Delaplace-Poilblanc, 12 years old:
Before each of the graves I put flowers on, I felt like a tiny grain of sand on a beach… One moment marked me particularly … An American came to me to ask for a rose. He then went to lay it at the foot of a headstone… I was moved by his initiative and I will never forget this moment.
Gabriel Lahrach, 13 years old:
The representatives of the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation which had supplied us with roses asked us not to lay any flowers at the foot of Jewish graves. I learned that in their culture, nothing perishable should adorn these graves, which explains why only small stones or pebbles are placed on them.
Justine Denuncq, 14 years old:
While I was laying flowers at some graves, an American family approached me and asked me to take a picture of them next to a grave that they had beautifully adorned with flowers but also beautifully decorated with various items. This grave was undoubtedly the last resting place of a relative since they were crying. I was deeply affected by their sadness, but I was also happy to immortalize this extremely emotional moment which meant so much to them. I was extremely touched by their kind words of thanks.
Arthur Amanieux-Kunlin, 13 years old:
I would like to thank this American association, which, a little before our ceremony, enabled us to discover Arlington National Cemetery in a solemn, personal and humane way. Reading aloud the names engraved on some of the headstones was not a trivial act: this reading gave profoundness to this morning, which could not be limited to a simple visit of the site. Reading the names of former soldiers, I felt responsible, responsible for a mission, a great mission that had been given to us by an association that had showed great confidence in us.