1,000 flags stationed at Saint Matthews Cemetery in Conshohocken, Pa to honor Veterans

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- An estimated 1,000 flags are stationed at Saint Matthews Cemetery to honor Veterans.

As people went to pay their respects Saturday, many say it was especially meaningful to lay down a flag since the county didn't give them flags this year amid COVID-19. So community members choose to raise their own funds.

"It was somber," said Jay Kunaszuk of Conshohocken. 1,000 graves at Saint Matthews Cemetery in Conshohocken have an American Flag planted next to them. All a part of an annual tradition done the weekend before Memorial Day which almost didn't happen.

"One of the biggest things that veterans feel is survivor's guilt, said Walt Hartnett, commander of VFW post 1074 Conshohocken. "By planting these flags it shows that they're not forgotten."

Due to coronavirus safety concerns, Montgomery County's commissioners were split on a decision to release 59,000 flags Saturday which they purchased earlier in the year. They've decided to release them now on July 4.

"I think outdoors at a cemetery is an ideal situation and we're going to get to the point where we re-open Montgomery County and honor our veterans," said Joe gale, Montgomery County commissioner. "Today at the cemetery in my opinion, is a step forward and a step in the right direction."

Many say they're especially thankful as today a local VFW was able to raise around $7,000 so people could honor their loved ones.

"Just seeing the names of people, some of my own relatives who served people my father talked about seeing these names like 'oh I remember my dad saying he was in the Philippines with this guy or he was in service with that guy,'" said Kunaszuk. "It was touching, you almost get choked up sometimes when you know these people."
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