DENVER – It started as a mother-daughter bonding trip a few years back. Lindsay and Annita Mikkola found themselves traveling to some unique places around Colorado, studying history and continuing to get to know each other better.
"We're partners in crime, kind of," Lindsay joked.
Eventually, their travels brought them to Denver's oldest cemetery: Riverside Cemetery. It's at the cemetery where they stumbled upon the headstones of some pretty famous Colorado residents.
"There's governors in here and the first woman doctor," Annita explained.
But perhaps no headstones caught them off guard more than the headstones they saw sitting in a patch of the cemetery without any decorations.
"You know, all those veterans' headstones kind of caught us by surprise," Lindsay said.
Standing before their eyes were more than 900 soldiers' headstones dating back as far as the Civil War. Annita and Lindsay were both stunned and wondered why no one would decorate the site around Memorial Day.
"For a while they weren't getting flags put out and now that we're putting them out every year they're getting recognized like they should be," Lindsay said.
Lindsay and Annita worked with the cemetery to make it all happen. Riverside Cemetery graciously donated hundreds of flags for the stones, as long as Lindsay and Annita agreed to plant them on an annual basis.
The two wholeheartedly agreed.
"Because they fought for our country. They fought to make our country what it is today. They sacrificed their lives," Lindsay said.
What's even more spectacular, Lindsay said, is that students from her school got involved. For the last three years, volunteers from Goal Academy Charter School joined Linsday and her mother at Riverside Cemetery to help place the flags alongside the headstones.
The first year only five or six students showed up. This year, there were more than 30.
"Oh, I love it," Linsday said. "It makes me happy to see all of these people come out!"
To learn more about Riverside Cemetery, visit this website: http://fairmountheritagefoundation.org/.
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