Preston Sharp pays tribute to Maxwell Veterans

Preston Sharp places a flag at the gravesite of a veteran on Tuesday.

You may recognize the name, Preston Sharp, from recent CBS special “A pied piper of patriotism.”

The 11-year-old began his journey in honoring our nation’s veterans in 2015 while visiting his grandfather’s grave in Redding. Sharp noticed that not every veteran in the cemetery had a flag, so he had to do something about it.

Sharp said he was shocked and disappointed not all the headstones of veterans had flags, and be began obtaining odd jobs and soliciting donations to buy flags and flowers for every veteran in his grandpa’s cemetery.

After filling the cemetery, he moved on to then next. He is determined to honor all veterans.

“Veterans should be honored every day, not just on holidays,” said Sharp.

Two years later, Sharp has covered the graves of 23,000 veterans; and yesterday, he added 249 from those at the Maxwell Cemetery.

“We split up into groups of two. One person will place the flag and the other a flag,” said Sharp.

Maps of the cemetery plots were made available as twenty volunteers, geared with flags and flowers, honored the veterans in the cemetery. With each grave, Sharp performed a “thank you” to each fallen soldier.

“I have everyone whose with me say their name out loud and say a thank you for their service,” said Sharp.

“Preston is very sincere with his routine,” said Preston’s mother, April Sharp.

Fred Loveland of Cottonwood, a volunteer, said, “I have been helping Preston anyway I can. If he goes, I go.”

“The cemeteries look so awesome when he is finished,” said Loveland.

After attending a Veterans Luncheon at the State Capitol Wednesday, June 21, Sharp will visit the Williams Cemetery and honor its veterans. It is estimated he will be at the cemetery around 3:30 PM and 4:00 PM.