HEBER-OVERGAARD — With Memorial Day ceremonies approaching, Show Low Civil Air Patrol Squadron 210 and adult leaders stepped up and refreshed the Heber-Overgaard cemetery flagpole landscape on May 8.

The American Legion Post 86 of Heber-Overgaard faithfully maintains the cemetery. However local Heber resident, cemetery volunteer and CAP Squadron 210 commander Lt. Col. Carol Schaubschlager said,”I noticed the condition of the area and arranged for the service project.”

The American Legion Post 86 provided the materials and the patriotic cadets and leaders cleared out the old and replaced it with new liner and fresh rock, just in time for upcoming Memorial Day remembrances. Cadets pushed themselves to complete the project in time to enjoy a tasty cheeseburger lunch at the post.

Community service is a crucial part of leadership training for cadets ranging in ages 12 to 18. The past year has made it very difficult to carry out that training. Things are starting to change.

“We were just authorized to move to Phase Two after pandemic restrictions and it will be so good to get back to live and in-person training exercises,” Schaubschlager said.

John Dahl, a Vietnam War veteran and retired VFW post commander, was enthusiastic about the cemetery landscape project.

“The American flag represents freedom and patriotism. Most have forgotten that Memorial Day was originally launched to recognize the war dead — those who died in service of our country,” he said. “Those same CAP cadets will be assisting in the Memorial Day ceremony in Show Low, and I am very proud.

“At the Vernon cemetery near where I live, we remove the previous year’s (American) flags and place new ones on each grave each Memorial Day. Flags are up all year long, whereas in most other cemeteries, flags are only placed for Memorial weekend and removed soon thereafter.

“Civil Air Patrol is a great organization. Youth can be taught. They want to learn and their elders are in the best position to lead them,” Dahl concluded.

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