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Organization picks Sarasota National Cemetery for Memorial Day flags

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  • | 5:00 a.m. November 6, 2014
  • Sarasota
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On Memorial Day the graves of veterans at the Sarasota National Cemetery are bare.

Sarasota National Cemetery is one of 12 national cemeteries that does not receive flags on every grave for the holiday, something Bob Fussner of Flags for Fallen Vets wants to change.

Flags for Fallen Vets is a nonprofit organization that travels to national cemeteries to make sure all deceased veterans receive honor on Memorial Day. With the addition of Sarasota National Cemetery to the organization’s roster, Fussner will have “flagged” three of the 12 national cemeteries that currently do not receive flags.

Every year Fussner receives emails asking for Flags for Fallen Vets to come to national cemeteries to decorate for Memorial Day. Fussner said he received several requests asking him to come to Sarasota.

Members of the The Gulf Coast Chapter of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club of active-duty and former Marines and FMF Corpsmen from Florida will be assisting Fussner in placing flags. He hopes to recruit about 375 volunteers to place the roughly 9,000 flags on the graves. It should take the team about 30 minutes, Fussner said.

“We’ll have team leaders and they’re all veterans who will hand out flags and lead,” Fussner said. “The toughest thing is to raise the funds.”

Fussner needs to raise $15,000 for the project. He hopes to return to Sarasota each Memorial Day.

These [fallen] veterans should be honored for Memorial Day,” he said. “That’s their day.”

How to Help
Donations can be made to assist the Sarasota National Cemetery effort by calling 817-798-9414 or visiting

By the numbers
9,000 - Flags

375 - Volunteers needed

24 - Flags per volunteer

15,000 - Cost, including totes and storage

30 minutes - Estimated time to place flags on graves



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