I had visited my father's gravesite at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery maybe only five times since he was interred in 1968. That was until my oldest son (now 13) took part in the Memorial Day weekend flag placement as a Cub Scout in 2005. Our family has attended the annual flag placement event ever since, held each Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend.
On May 28 at 7:45 a.m., we joined hundreds of boy and girl scouts as they spread out across the cemetery and placed over 88,000 American flags — one at each grave marker of a former member of the armed services. The task took the scouts only 45 minutes to complete.
During the tribute, scouts were asked to salute each flag placed, say the name of the deceased, and thank them for their service.
Once we had our bundle of flags, we headed to my father's gravesite, the last one in a long row that juts out on a point overlooking the ocean. His gravesite, shaded by a group of Torrey pines, lies on the westernmost point of the 1400-acre cemetery.
My mom, as the wife of a serviceperson, was entitled to be interred with her husband. She passed in late 2009 at the age of 93, and her cremains and a new gravestone marker with her name on it were placed last year.