San Antonio Army Wife Spends Memorial Day Weekend Planting Flags at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
Maria Gonzalez, a military bride, made it her mission to help place American flags next to as many gravestones as possible before Memorial Day.
SAN ANTONIO – Memorial Day weekend isn’t just for family vacations. It is also a time when people honor the men and women who have died serving in the United States armed forces.
National cemeteries run by the Department of Veterans Affairs may be busier this year following the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions from the CDC.
Masks are no longer needed for fully vaccinated people visiting VA national cemeteries, although unvaccinated people are encouraged to continue to wear face masks and socially walk away while attending deposit and memorial services.
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery is one of more than 140 national cemeteries located across the country that have been affected by the pandemic.
The cemetery contains over 150,000 tombstones; each is a fallen hero, but not forgotten.
Maria Gonzalez, whose husband served in the US Marines, spent Friday afternoon placing small US flags next to gravestones.
“The Boy Scouts of America, along with many other organizations, come here, and usually in about an hour to an hour and a half, we fill this whole graveyard with flags,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez realizes that not everyone may yet be comfortable venturing out into the world due to the lingering threat of the coronavirus, even as the rate of new cases declines and more and more more people are getting vaccinated.
“I think a lot of people are still scared. They are still at home and worried about the uncertainty, ”she said.
But she feels safe planting Old Glory alongside the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“I went to Walmart, bought their entire display, they cost 50 cents,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez encourages all who wish to come to and pay their respects to Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
“Take the time out of your busy day, run to Walmart, HEB, wherever you are, grab some flags. Put them on all the tombstones and honor our heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. “