HELENA — Ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, members of the Oro Fino Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution spent Thursday afternoon at Forestvale Cemetery honoring past members.
As part of the remembrance, members of the Oro Fino Chapter took time to place miniature American flags with a note in reference to the Daughters of the American Revolution on former members' gravestones to commemorate their service to the organization at 14 different cemeteries across Montana.
In order to become a member of the Daughters of the Revolution, prospective members must "prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence is eligible to join the DAR. She must provide documentation for each statement of birth, marriage and death, as well as of the Revolutionary War service of her Patriot ancestor," according to the organization's website.
Deborah Swingley, a member of the Oro Fino Chapter, said marking former members' headstones with flags is an annual undertaking, but is just a portion of the service they have planned for the future.
"None of us would be here without the people that came before us. But also, this is a part of our America 250 efforts. We have a new national regent and one of her, as we come up to America 250 —the 250th celebration of America — remembrance is a big piece of her projects," said Swingley. "We are doing, certainly the flags on graves which we've always done, but we have a project on cleaning headstones. In addition to this project, we do a tremendous amount of work in the schools — teacher appreciation, essay contests for youth. We work a lot with the veterans, supporting the Veteran's home up in Columbia Falls, Wreaths across America. It's a very organized mission."