Over Memorial Day weekend, members of various organizations went to cemeteries throughout Greater Pittston to replace the American flags on the graves of soldiers.
One young man did the same. But he did it all on his own.
Through his own personal conquest, West Wyoming resident Brady Yelland, 9, stopped at two cemeteries this past weekend to replace flags.
“I want to respect the veterans who fought for our country and made us a free country,” he said.
Brady started replacing flags at the age of 7 with his grandmother JoAnn Hunter, of Pittston, who serves as the president of the Ladies Auxiliary American Legion Post 477.
The American Legion provides the two with the flags.
“About three years ago, I asked if he wanted to do the flags with me and he came out and did them and he loved it,” she said. “I was going by doing the flags and noticed him kneeling there. The caretaker at the Pittston cemetery came to me and asked if I could hear what he was saying. Every flag he placed he was kneeling and praying. After that, he couldn’t wait for the flags every year.”
Brady kneels at every grave after placing a flag.
“I’m saying thank you for fighting for our country and I’m happy that you fought for us to be a free country,” he said.
The Wyoming Area Intermediate Center fourth-grader usually goes to two or three cemeteries every year, depending on which ones were not done by organizations.
He likes to replace the flags alone.
“It’s my thing,” Brady said. “My (older) brother (Aaron) did it with me a couple years ago, but he had a baseball game this year.”
Brady’s act of kindness hasn’t gone unnoticed as his mother, Lisa, said a police officer noticed him after originally approaching her about her parking at one of the cemeteries.
“We were parked under the bridges and a cop came over and questioned how I was parked,” she said. “He saw what Brady was doing and said he liked what he saw. I told him we would only be a few more minutes.”
Hunter said veterans at the American Legion have given Brady tokens of their appreciation, with one member giving him a copy of his high reward from the Navy and another buying him a Navy Seal hat.
She said she doesn’t know where her grandson got his affection for the military men and women.
“I don’t know what it is,” Hunter said. “His uncle was in the military, but there is something about it that he’s fascinated with — the military and the soldiers.”