Mormon youth serve military for Veteran's Day
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For the second year, about 100 teenagers and children from Fayetteville North Carolina Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, bleary-eyed and bundled up, gathered on a chilly Saturday morning at the Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery just outside Fort Bragg. They came to honor fallen heroes by placing flags on every grave for Veteran's Day, a way to honor the living as well as the dead.
Young men and women from eight Mormon Church wards and branches assembled on Saturday, Nov. 7, to prepare the cemetery for the Nov. 11 commemoration.
The youth placed flags in less than an hour, where cemetery staff estimated it would have taken them many hours.
"Just when you think this world is falling apart, you see something like this, and it gives you hope," said cemetery manager Rob Cox.
Many of the youth were children of military families. Placing flag after flag on grave sites gave them an opportunity to honor members of the military community of which they a part. Meggan Molgard, 12, whose father is stationed at Ft. Bragg, said, "Placing the flags on the veterans' graves was really special. It really helped increase my respect for them."
This morning of service helped give them a meaningful way to show respect to all veterans.
These Mormon volunteers, some who have parents deployed overseas, concluded the morning by writing cards with messages of hope to be sent to soldiers as part of Veteran's Day.
On this day, as the sun rose and began to gradually warm the hands of those who had placed hundreds of flags, a Boy Scout stood to pray. He and his troop had just changed out the service flags and left them at half staff to honor the recently slain at Ft. Hood. With the rays of the morning sun came a palpable feeling of hope. Daisy Thompson, with tears streaming down her face, said, "We're going to be all right. After seeing what I did today, I believe this country will be all right."