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Flags and Flowers Honor Veterans Every Day

If you want to help this wonderful example of patriotism, please help by donating to help him reach the other 45 states.

Flags and Flowers Honor Veterans Every Day

Flags and Flowers
Honor Veterans Every Day, Not just on a Holiday

by Gary Hunt

When I called Preston Sharp, he answered the phone. I heard the voice of a very young person. However, as the conversation ensued, I heard words of commitment, well beyond the age of the person on the other end of the line.

When I met Duane Ehmer in Red Bluff, California, he handed me the business card of Preston C. Sharp. He had gotten the card when he visited Preston at a cemetery where Sharp was busy planting flags and artificial flowers (Red Carnations) on the graves of military veterans.

Duane, a veteran himself, knew that I was a Vietnam Veteran, and felt that I would be interested in this story. That has become an understatement, as I interviewed with Sharp.

When Preston, now 12 years old, started setting Flags and Flowers on graves back in 2015, he made a commitment that he has held to since then. But, more about that, later.

On Veterans Day, 2015, he went to his grandfather’s grave. His grandfather had been in the Navy. He thought that there would be flags on the graves, but there weren’t. He was frustrated that they were not being properly honored on such a day. So, he decided that he wanted to get funding so that they would be honored for their service.

When he returned home, he set up a GoFundMe account in which he raised $100.00 on the first day. With that and subsequent funding, he placed over 40,000 flags and flowers on Veteran’s graves.

To place flags and flowers, he can spend two or more hours in a cemetery. If the headstone is dirty, he cleans it. He then says aloud the veteran’s name and a “Thank you for your service”.

He was conducting visits every Sunday, from Redding, California, where he lives, to Sacramento. However, he has now branched out into other states; his goal is to eventually get to every state in the union. To his credit, he has placed flags and flowers in California, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia, and Florida. A commendable start with 10% of the states. This includes 30 to 35 cemeteries. Often, local people in his target location assist him with his work. This work includes replacing torn flags or replacing flowers.

He told me, when asked how long he would continue doing “flags and flowers”, his answer, without hesitation, was, ” ’til I can’t bend down anymore.”

However, his commitment to veterans does not stop with flags and flowers. Preston had occasion to visit with Tim Whiting, 71, a Vietnam Veteran from Oregon who because of deteriorating health, moved to a Redding facility. Tim had to leave his friend, a dog named Rusty, with friends in Oregon. However, the four-hour trip could only rarely be made.

Preston, instead of asking for a laptop for Christmas, chose to adopt Rusty and bring him to Redding, thus allowing Tim to spend time with Rusty, whenever he wanted to. When asked why he did that to help Tim, he answered, “I would do anything to make a veteran happy.”

As I told Preston, and the end of the interview, HE is what we were fighting for when we joined the service of our country. He is what America used to be about, and, hopefully, will return to being what it is about.

At present, because of the distances he must travel, he can only travel when funds are available. His webpage, prestonsharp.net, has a link to donate to this very worthy cause.

If you believe in America, as it should be, and you want to help this wonderful example of patriotism, please help by donating to help him reach the other 45 states, and, with such help, perhaps all of the veteran’s cemeteries in the country.

So, with tears in my eyes, I say, “Preston Sharp Thank You for Your Service.”

 

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1 Comment on Flags and Flowers Honor Veterans Every Day

  1. Like when the boy in the movie about Sparta “300” is sent to face the wolves; like when an American boy wearing RPG military glasses as a military dependent glasses returns to picture perfect commercial America; when the boy understands that the hate of evil has superseded the love of love; when the boy has read “The Cato Letters” and reads what the hatred of evil meant in 1720…then the boy will be a boy no longer.

    Adding emphasis to one of the quotes George Washington favored most from “Cato: A Tragedy”:

    “It is not in the power of any man to command success; but you have done more—you have deserved it.”

    Also translated as:

    “’Tis not in mortals to command success, But we’ll do more, Sempronius; we’ll deserve it.”

    The love of what is right is more important than any person we would die for; for if what is right is maintained those who we love will benefit; but when our life blinks out we cannot be certain that those we would die for would ever know or meet up with us in an afterlife under a beneficent God to understand what we died for; we cannot know but we can hope; which makes the love of what is right all the more important in this life and world.

    While a boy is a boy let him love for there is great value in love…but there is a time when that is no longer so…especially when evil and corruption prevails.

    What would a veteran say to this post? With a snarl like a wolf or the snarl of the General from the movie “Corilanus”:

    CORIOLANUS Hear’st thou, Mars?

    AUFIDIUS Name not the god, thou boy of tears!

    CORIOLANUS Ha!

    AUFIDIUS No more.

    CORIOLANUS Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart
    Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave!
    Pardon me, lords, ’tis the first time that ever
    I was forced to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords,
    Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion–
    Who wears my stripes impress’d upon him; that
    Must bear my beating to his grave–shall join
    To thrust the lie unto him.

    First Lord Peace, both, and hear me speak.

    CORIOLANUS Cut me to pieces, Volsces; men and lads,
    Stain all your edges on me. Boy! false hound!
    If you have writ your annals true, ’tis there,
    That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
    Flutter’d your Volscians in Corioli:
    Alone I did it. Boy!

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