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Chelsea veterans and students place flags on graves - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Chelsea veterans and students place flags on graves

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CHELSEA, Vt. -

In the shadow of the Chelsea cemetery veterans gather.

"I think we are going to be OK with flags anyway," said veteran Steve Peters.

A short time later students from the nearby school arrive.

"It's personal and it could affect any of us in the years to come and we are so pleased you kids come out with us," said Peters.

It's time to remember those who made this community and country.

"If it was 1943 what was going on. If it was 1969 what was going on. Heroes are not made, they are not born, they are us," said Peters

As Memorial Day approaches, this hilly Orange County community stops to honor those who have served their country in war and all wars. History is part of the lesson.

"I have what they call a roster of all the Civil War guys that served from Vermont," said veteran Doug Lyford.

Bringing veterans and school kids together is a May tradition but this year someone is missing. Tuffie Doyle is here in spirit. The Chelsea veteran died this winter. For decades, Tuffie and his family made sure a flag was placed on a veteran's grave. This year a flag was placed on his grave:

"Every grave marked someone who left behind friends and family when they died. And every flag you see is someone who risked or gave their lives for their country they loved. Placing these flags on the graves is a way of thanking people like Tuffie for risks and sacrifices in life," said Heather Petersen from Chelsea.

Tuffie's commitment to his community carries on one by one. Hundreds of flags are placed carefully and respectfully by the graves.

Veterans tell us Tuffie kept them together in a quiet way, always making sure all veterans were cared for. Even the towns youngest were touched by Tuffie.

"Every grave marked someone who left behind friends and family when they died. And every flag you see is someone who risked or gave their lives for their country they loved. Placing these flags on the graves is a way of thanking people like Tuffie for risks and sacrifices in life," said Petersen.

"Ahh, Tuffie would be doing his big smile hoping he would give us a thumbs-up. Tuffie liked the kids coming out. He felt good about that. Today would be big. Tuffie would be saying were just doing it because the people who died couldn't do it," said Peters.

He’s a veteran who loved his country and a community that loves its veterans.

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