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Volunteer opportunity: Place flags on veterans’ graves

May 11 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT


Volunteer opportunity: Place flags on veterans' graves

Help us honor our heroes by placing flags at the graves of military veterans who have served from the War of 1812 to the present.

About this event

Thousands of men and women who served in the U.S. military are buried at Forest Home Cemetery. Please help us honor them with a flag at their grave for Memorial Day through July 4.



  • There is no fee for this event, but you must register for a date/time to get an assignment.
  • The date/time you register for is when volunteers will be onsite to hand out flags, sections maps and lists of names. You may place flags right after you pick them up or you can come back on a different date, any time between 8 am and 7pm, when the cemetery gates close.
  • If you are not able to place the flags assigned to you, please return them to the office so we can reassign them.
  • All flags must be placed by May 19.PICKUP LOCATION
  • Pick up your flags and assignment at the office, just inside the Lincoln Avenue entrance. Look for the registration table outside if it’s nice and inside, if not.
  • If you are coming on a Saturday or Thursday, please don’t park in the spots in front of the office (they are reserved for cemetery business). If you come on a Sunday, you can park where you like.ASSIGNMENTS
  • You will get a clipboard with a cemetery map and list of veterans’ names. You can drive closer to your section, if you like, and you can park on any cemetery road. (Please return your clipboard – we use them for our field trips!)
  • Please bring something to write with.FINDING THE GRAVES
  • We do not know the exact location of the veterans’ graves – but we are working on it (see below)!
  • You may feel like you are on a scavenger hunt as you look for names on headstones, but that is the challenge – and fun – of it!
  • Each volunteer develops their own system for finding the graves; sometimes it’s just walking every row.
  • Most headstones will include information that identifies that person as a veteran: a government-issued marker will include the service era (WWII, Korean War, Gulf War, etc.); Civil War headstones are typically upright marble or granite headstones, curved on top and include the number of the grave, rank, name of the soldier and the name of the state; sometimes a rank will appear with the name; some graves have a metal marker or medallion that gives miliary info, like Grand Army of the Republic. See samples below.PLACING FLAGS
  • Hold the top with one hand and below the flag with the other and push into the ground.
  • Place about 1″ from the stone in all cases.
  • Center in the front of upright markers (like Civil War markers)
  • Center in the back of flat/flush markers.
  • Place to the left side of larger markers.WHAT TO BRING/WEAR
  • Please bring something to write with your smartphone to check off names and enter data.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and watch your step!
  • Bring the kids! You may bring dogs but only on a leash, and please pick up after them.NEW: VETERAN LOCATION PROJECT

One day, volunteers will be able to geolocate the veterans’ graves. To get there, we need your help to record the veterans who are not in the database. As you look for the veterans on your list, note the ones you find that are not on the list. You can either write the names on your paper or use your smartphone to enter some basic data into a google form. You’ll get a QR code to this when you get your assignment.



May 11
9:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT
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Forest Home Cemetery
2405 West Forest Home Avenue
Milwaukee,, WI 53215 United States
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