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Goonch's Journal
Goonch's Journal
May 26, 2023

No More Risk of Flower Shortage at Arlington for Memorial Day, Group Says(but)

Danger of a flower shortage at Arlington National Cemetery over Memorial Day has been averted, according to a nonprofit group that has been placing the floral tributes since 2011.

When The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation published a statement earlier this month, corporate sponsorship was down. The foundation had raised just 10% of the funds it needed, and had gathered barely 50,000 of the hoped-for 310,000 flowers required to properly observe Memorial Day.

"We were desperate," said Bernardo Beate, MDFF's director of operations, in a phone interview Wednesday.

But since the group raised the alarm, cash donations have risen to 50% of what it says it needs for the Memorial Day weekend, and the organization now has more than 200,000 flowers pledged. The potential shortage of flowers was first reported by Military Times last week.

"The generosity from people and from donors has been overwhelming," Beate said..............

People go from grave to grave, laying flowers and -- as Beate explained it -- connect with that service member's act of sacrifice, or the contribution they made to a safer country and world, for those who were not killed in action. "It's an amazing experience."

In addition, people who attend will have an opportunity to place flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument to every service member in every war who goes unburied, whose family never knows what happened to them.

Now, all that is left to do is the placing. "What we need now are volunteers from the general public," Beate said. "We have the flowers; now, we need people to lay them at the gravesites."

People interested in volunteering can go to Arlington National Cemetery on May 28 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.


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