Mixup brings help to Fresno's Liberty Memorial Cemetery

FRESNO, Calif.

The flags mark the graves of those who served in the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the two World Wars, Korean, Vietnam and beyond. The volunteers of all ages mobilized to honor their service.

Eleven year old Liam Niewohaer of Fresno, came out in his Boy Scout uniform. "I just thought I would come out and help, they deserved it."

John Harris, a Vietnam Vet also came out. "To help my comrades. I served in Vietnam... it's the least I could do."

Steve Gardia is in the Air Force. He planted dozens of flags, "I know what they do... it was the least I could do to come and help honor them."

The flags are placed here every year, but usually by just a few county workers and a couple of dozen volunteers like Harvey Parsons. He's with the Marine Corps League. He was amazed by all the help that appeared this year. "The difference between this year and last year, well, it's still daylight and all the flags are up."

In fact the entire process took less than half an hour.

Most of the volunteers came out after word was mistakenly spread by a local Tea Party member that county budget cuts would mean no flags would be put out this year.

County Supervisor Henry Perea said that was wrong. "There was a rumor out there that the County cut the funding but no. We had a plan, but we got a call from a civic organization that said they'd like to help us out and put those flags up and that's great, whenever the public wants to get involved we'll be happy to take volunteer help."

But the misinformation paid off and as a result a lot of people, like J.D. Bennet, who's with the Sanger Tea Party, took part in something they've never done before. "I love it. This is the most patriotic thing I've ever done."

Those few who've volunteered to do this every year were glad for the help, and hope all the folks who helped this year come back again next year.

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