Hundreds of flags left scattered at AZ cemetery

Posted at 7:08 PM, May 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-30 22:15:48-04

A Valley father is taking action to make Memorial Day everything it should be for the families of our fallen veterans. 

David Donaldson and his 6-year old-daughter Aurora were visiting the National Cemetery in Cave Creek when they started noticing the flags on grave markers had been blown over by the wind. 

"The more and more we looked around, the more we saw that there were hundreds and thousands that had fallen down because of the wind," said Donaldson.

That's when Donaldson took to Facebook and posted video asking for help.

"Hey if anyone has any free time today come one down to the National Cemetery. There are hundreds and hundreds of flags that have fallen and I need to get them up by tomorrow."

It was the first time he had ever used social media that way and he told ABC15 he wasn't sure it would work.

He said within an hour, he had returned with tools in hand to help him drill the flags into the Arizona desert. He and discovered people had answered his call for help, including close family friend Sunny Parker and her daughter Arizona.

"To see the post that he put up with the flags down, it really broke my heart and I knew I had to go out and do something," said Parker.

"It wasn't what I thought I would be doing and it was hot out there. But I thought it's the least I can do for the fallen soldiers." 

Throughout the day, Donaldson continued to ask for help on Facebook: "Hey guys, so we got about two plots down right now -- we're working on a third. I want you to take a look behind me, there are more flags down than are up right now; guys we need help."

Donaldson said about 20 people showed up and worked nearly 10 hours.

"It was amazing, we fixed hundreds of flags that had fallen. It was definitely an accomplishment but at the same time there was that yearning to get more of the job done."

Donaldson said the crew ran out of time and hundreds of flags remained toppled over.  

But next year he plans to head out again with a crew and make sure the flags are in place before Memorial Day.  

If not, he'll be calling for help on Facebook again.