ISS1 2015

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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Page 13 of 63

Flags Across America: Bringing Devotion to Duty to a new Generation Republished from the November 10, 2014 Coast Guard Mid Atlantic Blog Bright and early on a crisp November morning, active duty, Reserve, and retired Coast Guardsmen and their families gathered atop Coast Guard Hill in Arlington National Cemetery to recognize what Chaplain of the Coast Guard Steven Barstow described as the "victory of lives well lived." This year's Flags Across America event, organized by the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Chief Petty Officers Association, brought together nearly 100 volunteer participants on Nov. 8 to ensure the dozens of headstones of fallen Coast Guardsmen buried at Arlington Cemetery were properly recognized in advance of the upcoming Veteran's Day holiday. Following opening remarks by Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft and other distinguished guests, participants and their children lined up to gather bundles of American and Coast Guard flags before parting ways to cover the grounds at Arlington Cemetery. Flags Across America began sixteen years ago when Coast Guardsmen visited Arlington Cemetery and noticed how many grave markers of veterans from other branches of service were adorned with the flag of their respective service and took on the mission to ensure the Coast Guard was equally represented. As one of the founders of this event, retired Chief Warrant Officer Ed Kruska is pleased to see the growing enthusiasm for Flags Across America. "What's really gratifying is to see it's still going, and it's getting better than ever, year to year," he said. The Master of Ceremonies, retired Chief Warrant Officer Gloria East, readily noted an increase in the number of children participating in Flags Across America over previous years. "We're seeing a lot more kids, which is great," said East. "These are young people we hope to see in following years. Some of these are kids of the 'Coasties' who serve. They're going to grow up, and maybe they'll join the Coast Guard. Maybe we'll see them out here taking our place." Retired Lt. Cmdr. Steven Wolf leads Boy Scout Troop 1553 in Dale City, Va., and was pleased to take part in this year's program. "We said, 'let's get our troop out here to participate,' and they came out in force. I think it's a wonderful event," said Wolf. Zukunft drew attention to the number of Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts in attendance, and said, "That's what really moved me the most – to see the young kids out here today." Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul zukunft pauses at a Coast Guard grave at the Flags Across America event, in which volunteers place fags at the graves of Coast Guardsmen at Arlington national Cemetery, Arlington, Va., nov. 8, 2014. 12 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2015

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