Wednesday afternoon, members of the Burlington Boys and Girl Scouts, along with their families and other volunteers, could be seen replacing the flags on the graves of veterans at Chestnut Hill and Pine Haven Cemeteries. This is an annual ritual done in preparation for the Town’s Memorial Day Ceremony, set for Monday morning and hosted by Veteran Services.
This year’s ceremony will honor the real superheroes of everyday life, those that risk their lives defending our country. Veteran Services Director Chris Hanafin said that the ceremony won’t be “necessarily commemorating the Vietnam War, it’s more along the lines of looking at the Vietnam veterans, the sacrifices they made [in the war and] everything they did afterwards, to make sure that a veteran would never be disrespected or ill-treated in this country ever again.
Hanafin explained the poor way Vietnam veterans were treated when they came home changed how our country looks at veterans…”World War II [veterans] when they came back, they had World War I veterans praising them. Vietnam veterans, they didn’t necessarily have that. When I came back from Afghanistan, there was an emphasis by Vietnam veterans that no other veteran would ever get treated the way that they did.”
“It’s pretty easy for Superman to go into a burning building when he knows he’s not going to get hurt,” said Hanafin “whereas these Vietnam veterans they were getting hurt by it.”
This year’s guest speaker will be Phil Nowlan, Commander of the DAV and a Veteran of Vietnam. Donald Flaherty, a local veteran, longtime Burlington resident and community member will also be honored. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on the morning on Monday May 30th in the Veterans section of Chestnut Hill Cemetery.