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23rd Annual Flag Placement Event honoring Veterans for Memorial Day

May 10, 2023

Volunteers to Place Nearly 6,000 American Flags 

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, MAY 25-29, 2021 — Since 2000, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery has paid tribute to the lives of Veterans at our Annual Flag Placement event. This is a large scale event where volunteers place American flags on every grave within our Veteran’s sections, totaling nearly 6000. This year, Holy Sepulchre Cemetary wants to thank Rob Contestabile and volunteers from the Excellus Veterans Network, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and local Boy Scout Troops who will place the American flags on Thursday, May 25th.

For those families whose loved ones are not buried in a Veteran section, complimentary flags will be available in their lobby throughout the Memorial Day weekend. Holy Sepulchre Cemetary invites you to visit the cemetery, to take a moment to honor those lost before us and to celebrate Memorial Day.

History of this event:
In 2000, Boy Scout Troop 195 Assistant Scoutmaster Mike Civiletti and his son, Paul, orchestrated an effort to replace worn flags on veterans’ graves for Memorial Day. He aimed to place American flags on every grave in Veterans' sections. For several years, they raised enough funds to flag up to 1,300 of the more than 5,000 graves in the military sections at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.  Mike never realized his dream of flagging all of the graves because on Oct. 14, 2006, he was killed by a drunk driver after leaving church.

After his death, Boy Scout Troop 195 kept Mike’s dream alive by continuing to flag veterans’ graves for Memorial Day. With the help of many volunteers, organizations, and the cemetery, the project was finally able to cover every grave in Veterans' sections. Thank you to volunteers from the Boy Scouts, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Holy Sepulchre Cemetery for their continued commitment during the Memorial Day holiday!

About Holy Sepulchre Cemetery and Ascension Garden:
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery was founded in 1871 by the first Bishop of Rochester, the Most Reverend Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid. It was his vision to create a cemetery in a garden-like setting that would welcome the Catholic community of the Diocese of Rochester for years to come.  Building upon that vision Holy Sepulchre Cemetery opened Ascension Garden in Henrietta in 2010.

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery & Ascension Garden accommodates traditional in-ground burials as well as above-ground interments in beautifully designed mausoleums that are prayerful and reflective environments. The Catholic Cemeteries of Holy Sepulchre and Ascension Garden represent a meaningful history of loved ones, a record of their lives and a sanctuary for peace and prayer. For more information, please visit


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