USCG Remembers The Fallen
On a rainy day atop Coast Guard Hill in Arlington National Cemetary, the U.S. Coast Guard flag joined the Stars and Stripes as servicemembers honored the fallen in advance of Veterans Day.
USCG Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft gave the opening remarks for the ceremony. “There are lots of stories written on these hills because we all volunteer to serve,” he said. “What you see here today are those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
A lone bagpiper played Semper Paratus, the Honor Guard presented the colors, and a bugler played taps at the start of the ceremony atop Coast Guard Hill.
“Thank you for paying tribute to those who serve and those who continue to serve,” Zukunft said to the nearly 100 volunteers attending.
Through a donation by defense electronics company Telephonics, the volunteers were able to honor all USCG veterans buried in Arlington National Cemetary with an American flag placed on each grave.
Flags Across America began over 15 years ago when the D.C. Chapter of the Chief Petty Officers Association began placing flags to honor the fallen at Arlington and at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
One of the founding members, Retired Chief Warrant Officer Ed Kruska, said the event is one of his favorite occasions of the year.
“When we first started in 1999, there were eight of us,” he said. “I’m still really honored to be part of this. It’s a fabulous Coast Guard day.”
Since its founding, Flags Across America has grown to include 86 chapters in 36 states.