Young Marine chapters from Elkridge Jarrettsville and Hamilton and members of the Girl Scouts planted 3,500 American flags at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on Saturday ahead of Memorial Day ceremonies at the cemetery.

In 1967, Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens dedicated six and a half acres for a Field of Honor, offering burial plots to veterans and their families.

Three years later, the cemetery began holding a Memorial Day ceremony in an area known as the Circle of Immortals, a section set aside for Marylanders killed in action.

Richard Wehn, who was in the Army Reserves for 22 years and active duty for two, said: “I’m very very impressed when I come out here. My granddaughter is in the Girl Scout troop and has been doing this for five or six years. I come out to help and it’s good that people recognize what the military has done in the past.”

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Young people saluted each gravesite before placing an American flag in the ground. Many seemed to enjoy the ritual, happily going from one site to the next.

Girl Scout troops #1607 and #955 and service unit #683 were represented.

Girl Scouts Caroline Loester, 8, and Payton Schrader, 8, planted two flags on a gravesite together.

“I like helping the people. I just like being nice to the world,” said Loester.

Schrader chimed in, “My uncle is in the Navy, so I like coming here and helping out.”

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Young Marine chapters from Elkridge, Jarrettsville and Hamilton and members of the Girl Scouts planted 3,500 flags across Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman)
Young Marine chapters from Elkridge, Jarrettsville, and Hamilton as well as local Girl Scout troops #683 and #1607 planted 3500 flags across Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023.
Young Marine chapters from Elkridge, Jarrettsville and Hamilton and members of the Girl Scouts planted 3,500 flags across Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman)
Caroline Loester and Payton Schrader plant flags across Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Young Marine chapters from Elkridge, Jarrettsville and Hamilton and members of the Girl Scouts planted 3,500 flags across Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Caroline Loster, 8, and Peyton Schrader, 8, plant flags across Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023.
Caroline Loester and Payton Schrader participate in the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens flag planting event on May 27, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Girl Scouts Sarah Monto, 8; Megan Monto, 11; and Myanna Amourgis, 6, plant flags at gravesites in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Kevin Smotherman, 15, and William Gerald, 12, plant flags at gravesites in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
A Young Marine plants flags across Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
William Gerald, 12, salutes to gravesites at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023. Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023.
William Gerald, 12, salutes to gravesites at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on May 27, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Kaitlin Newman is a photojournalist specializing in multimedia coverage. Her main areas of focus are politics, conflict, feature and breaking news. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing from Towson University, which is where she is also the professor of photojournalism. 

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