Flags and Flowers for Veterans

A Peacemaking Project by Mia G.

What is the injustice we are solving?

I am planning to buy flowers are flags and put them on Veterans' graves. It isn't fair that Veterans' graves have dead flowers and ripped flags at their graves when they have done so much for our country.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of Veterans' graves being unkempt
we will address Unkempt Veterans' graves
by buying flowers and flags and putting them at the Veterans' graves

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • To get all the local cemeteries to have a new flag and flowers to decorate each Veterans' grave in our school district
  • Share this on social media and prompt this to continue

We will increase my / our compassion by...

It will give me a scope of the number of veterans' that have lived and died in my school district and a compassion to honor them.

How will you show courage?

I believe this to be a heroic act because it is honouring those that have served our country.

How will you collaborate with others?

I plan to recruit people and ask for volunteers. I will have an organizing committee and to set up the day and have a one day to have a flower and flag day.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

When I can get the volunteers, set up the day, and get it done.

Key Steps

  • Research the local cemeteries
  • Put together a committee for the project
  • Research the best places to find flowers and flags
  • Set a date for the flags and flowers event
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Purchase the flags and flowers
  • Carry out the project

Our Updates:

Why the graves would be unkempt....

Mia G. 15 February 2018 16:47 I got an email from Raul who is part of Peace First. He wanted me to say why the graves would be unkempt. 

 

The veterans' graves would be unkempt because either their families live far away so they can't keep the grave beautiful or the family just doesn't care. I don't understand why the family wouldn't care. One of your family members dedicated a part of his/her life to serve his/her country. They have missed birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries to be with their country. That takes a lot of courage and sacrifice. So, why would you keep their graves unkempt?

 

I also don't want to take all the credit for this idea. I actually got this idea when I was watching the State of the Union. All of the credit should go to Preston Sharp. I am just a wee little part in getting this idea to the country. I believe in what he is doing, so I wanted to help spread the word. 

 

Just another topic to cover... I talked to my grandfather who is part of our American Legion. He is going to talk to them about it.  I think that is all the topics I needed to cover right now.

Comments:

Kelsey T.
20 February 2018 13:37

Hi Mia, thanks again for your thoughtful reply and I'm so glad you are continuing to explore these questions with veterans and learn from the people most impacted. I think exploring the injustice of Veterans not having enough money or resources would also be really interesting. If you decide to go that route, our tools can help you explore the root causes of that -- what is happening beneath the surface and why ?  

Mia G.
18 February 2018 8:09

Kelsey,

Thank you for the feed back. I understand what you are saying. I will get more opinions from other Veterans'. My grandfather did say something after I posted my update... he said that if this doesn't work out I should look into the problem that Veterans' don't have enough money to buy a banner for their house. Or we could simplify this problem down to the problem of Veterans' not having enough money at all.

Thank you again!  

Kelsey T.
16 February 2018 15:23

Some tools that might help:
https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/choose-4-injustice-versus-inconvenience

https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-1-talking-others

https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-2-problem-and-solution-trees

https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-3-imagining-future

https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-4-compassionate-insight


 

Kelsey T.
16 February 2018 15:21

Hi Mia! I wanted to respond to your most recent update and give you an update about your mini-grant application. First of all, thanks so much for taking the time to reflect on Raul's questions and post your update -- it is great that you are willing to grapple with these questions!

It sounds like, with the help of your grandfather, you are continuing to consult with veterans and the American Legion. I'd encourage you to use that opportunity to think a little bit more about why this happens -- and get their perspective on what this means, and why it is an injustice.

For us, an injustice is something that causes ongoing harm to an individual or group that is targeted in part because of who that group is (for example, their culture, ideology, political affiliation, religion, nationality, race or sexual orientation.. but it could be other groups too, especially groups that are vulnerable in some way). We also think of injustices as something caused by other humans -- whether or not they intend to do harm. And usually, overcoming an injustice helps the targeted group to overcome an obstacle and realize a greater potential. Given all that, I'd encourage you to think about whether unkempt graves is the injustice you want to focus on, or whether it is a symptom of a broader injustice that impacts veterans. I don't have the answers, just lots of questions for you to mull over!

I'll post some tools below that might help you think that through and also continue to think through the root causes -- there are usually many and you can choose one to focus on with your project. Since you are still doing research by talking to veterans and potentially working with our tools to dig deeper, we're going to hold off for a little bit on processing your mini-grant. You might find that after more research and feedback from veterans, you want to change your project plan a little bit -- or you might not want to, but we''ll hold off a bit in case you alter your plan at all. Either way, we're excited to help support you!  

RaulPF C.
9 February 2018 8:55

Dear Mia. I am part of the Peace First team and I wanted to provide you with some feedback related to your compassionate insight. First of all, I love the way in how you are showing compassion by identifying a way to commemorate those who have served the community and country. We would love for you to think a bit more about the reason why those graves might be unkept. As fish mentioned below, talking to others that might be happy to share their experiences could be a great way to gain a greater understanding of why this issue is currently happening in your community.

We would love to hear what you learn. There is a section of the website in your project page where you can add what you find and also a tool that can help you in the process. You can find them both here: https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-1-talking-others

I look forward to hearing more and to supporting your work.

Raul


 

Fish S. Peace First Staff
6 February 2018 14:26

Sounds good, Mia. Let me know how I can help!  

Mia G.
6 February 2018 12:49

Thank you for everything. I have applied for the grant. Hopefully I will get it! It will help buy all the flowers and the flags.  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
6 February 2018 10:05

Hi Mia -- sounds like you know where you'll go from here!

We can certainly help you with spreading the word. If you go to peacefirst.org/stories, you can write a story about the work you're doing and why it's important, and lots of other young people will see it -- and hopefully take the work on! Once you've taken action and have some photos or stories to share, we can share those out on our social media as well.

And if you need it, you can apply for a $250 grant from us to help with your project! Just check out your project dashboard :)  

Mia G.
6 February 2018 8:26

Hello,
Thank you for the idea. I can't believe that that slipped my mind. It makes sense that you would speak to your local veterans' organizations. Anyway, some ways that you could help is you could spread the word and do the same thing in your neighborhood.  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
1 February 2018 13:00

Hi Mia -- what a compassionate project! It sounds like you really care about honoring folks who have served your community, and value the message it sends when we celebrate those who have sacrificed.

Have you spoken with local veterans' organizations about your project? They might have some suggestions, and I'm sure they'd be thrilled to support you.

How can we help you?