About-Face Over Salute To Vets

With Memorial Day weekend at hand, a Massachusetts boy has gotten the green light for a special tribute to soldiers, after facing an initial obstacle.

Pauline Chiou of CBS station WBZ-TV reports that Collin Kelly raised $226 to buy flowers for veterans' graves at Edgell Grove Cemetery in his hometown of Framingham. He's been keeping the money in a tissue box.

But the cemetery turned him away, saying only relatives can place flowers on individual graves.

"Rules are rules, but you can't let one little kid in, who wants to give his heroes flowers?" Kelly, 9, exclaims.

Kelly's grandfather fought in World War II. Kelly didn't want to forget the other veterans, so he went door-to-door, asking for a dollar here, a dollar there to buy flowers.

Word about Kelly's mission quickly got around.

Recently, a Korean War veteran stopped by his house with tears in his eyes, wanting to shake his hand.

"I think," says Kelly's mother, Lynn Kelly, "he's learned that one person can make a huge difference in the world. So many people are proud of him."

Now, the cemetery's commissioners say Kelly can carry out his tribute.

Even if they hadn't bent their rules, Kelly said he was prepared to honor veterans: "If I don't get to plant the flowers at the graves, I want to give the money and the flowers to the veterans that are still alive."
  • Brian Dakss

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