Clubs devote time to flags

Stars and Stripes to fly over veterans graves, cemeteries

— A group of five Okanogan High School students spent Thursday afternoon placing flags on the headstones of people who had served in the military.

In preparation for Memorial Day, the local Key Club members first visited Okanogan Valley Memorial Gardens, then Okanogan City Cemetery, distributing hundreds of American flags.

It’s a service the club does every year for Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

“This is not only giving back to those who fought for our country, but it is also giving back to our community and they can see the involvement that each individual has had in the history of this county,” McKenzie Ervin said.

Ervin, 16, is the club’s outgoing president and incoming lieutenant governor.

Nathan Hennigs, 15, said going through the local cemeteries shows what a rich history Okanogan has, despite being a small town. Hennigs, a freshman who will take over as the club president next year, said he will definitely be a Key Club member throughout his high school career.

“Some of these (gravestones) are very old and maybe their family isn’t around anymore to do this for them. It really makes me feel good inside knowing we’re helping people that have passed on,” he said.

On Friday evening, the Okanogan County Boy Scouts handled the flag placements at Omak Memorial Cemetery.

Ervin and Hennigs were joined by Satya Kent and Hannah Attridge, both 16, and Aidan O’Conner, 15.

“It’s really rewarding for you as a teenager to know that you’re part of something bigger than just yourself,” Hennigs said.

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