ANACONDA— To honor the veterans buried in Anaconda for Memorial Day, Deer Lodge County’s 4-H youth program put flowers at each grave.
In 2010, Paula Arneson, the administrative assistant for Deer Lodge County 4-H program, decided to make small flower picks for the veterans who had no one to honor them, leaving them at the graves, and over the years the number of flowers grew to be too much for one person to handle.
"I asked the 4-H kids if they would come out and help me put the picks out and they are doing that with me and each year we make more and more," said Arneson.
Leah Hamilton, a member of the program, says it’s important that each veteran get the chance to be thanked for their service.
"To honor them and remember them in case they don’t have anybody else to decorate their graves," said Hamilton.
At the end of the memorial day season, the cemetery crew rounds up all the flowers left at the graves and gives them to Arneson, who recycles them for next year.
"And eventually maybe we’ll have enough flowers to cover all the cemeteries, but this year I think we had enough to cover all the cemetery graves in this lower hill cemetery," said Arneson.