Youth honored by President Trump to honor veterans' graves in Sundance

 

March 12, 2020



A young man who may be familiar to those who watched President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union is set to continue his campaign to honor veterans right here in Sundance. Preston Sharp has been working since he was ten years old to place a flag and carnation on as many veterans’ graves as possible across the country.

“I first heard about him about two weeks ago,” says Ken Delfino, who has offered his assistance to Sharp in his bid to bring the project to the Midwest.

In 2015, Delfino says, Sharp visited his grandfather’s grave on Veteran’s Day and was upset to find there was no flag on it. The ten-year-old came up with an idea to rectify this and before long had honored veterans in every town in California from Redding – his hometown – to Sacramento.

Sharp then set himself a new goal: the Flag and Flower campaign to honor veterans in every state in the nation. When placing the flag and carnation, Sharp and his volunteer assistants always say the veteran’s name out loud and thanks them for their service, because Sharp believes a veteran’s name not said out loud is a veteran forgotten.


To date, he has visited 30 states and laid 210,000 flags, according to his website. His efforts were w recognized by President Trump during the 2018 State of the Union speech.

“The middle of the country is not covered yet,” says Delfino, who felt gratitude to Sharp as a Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Navy himself and was compelled to offer his assistance in this region.

Sharp will be visiting three locations in the area and Delfino suggested that Sundance should be one of them to give him the opportunity to visit Devils Tower and the home of the Sundance Kid (though Sharp himself wasn’t familiar with Harry Longabaugh and his exploits, Delfino says his mom sure was).

Delfino has begun the process of investigating how many veterans are buried in Sundance to ensure enough flags and flowers are available, contacting the schools to see if a field trip can be arranged to coincide with Sharp’s visit and seeking volunteers to place flags and help Sharp raise money for the next leg of his journey.

Donations can be made out to “Veterans Flags and Flowers” and sent to PO Box 493792, Redding, CA 96049. The cost is $3 per grave.

Sharp’s visit to Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis is scheduled for April 5, 2020 at 10 a.m .; at the current time, a date for his visit to Sundance has not yet been set. If you would like to volunteer to help, contact Delfino at 605-574-2629. You can find out more about Sharp’s project at prestonsharp.net.


 
 

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