Section 9. The mayor of every city and the selectmen of every town shall appoint a resident of such city or town who shall be a veteran as defined in clause Forty-third of section seven of chapter four, as a veterans’ graves officer, for a term to be determined by the appointing authority; provided, however, that said term shall not exceed five years. It shall be the duty of such veterans’ graves officer to cause every veteran’s grave within such city or town to be suitably kept and cared for. Such care shall include the clearing of weeds and other unseemly growth from said graves; the repairing, replacement and general up-keep of fences around said graves; the raising and repairing of sunken grave stones and markers and other similar services that may be necessary to restore and maintain such graves and their surroundings in an orderly condition. If the cost of such care and maintenance is not paid by private persons, or by the trustees of the cemeteries where any such grave is situated, it shall be paid by the city or town; and cities and towns may appropriate money therefor. Money so appropriated may be expended directly by the city or town or paid over to the trustees or manager of any cemetery where any such grave is situated; but the sum so paid over in any year shall not exceed for each grave the sum charged for the annual care and maintenance of like lots in the same cemetery, or, if no such charge is made in that cemetery, it shall not exceed the sum charged in other cemeteries in the same city or town for like services. In cities and towns where there are cemeteries containing the remains of deceased veterans, such cities and towns shall cause to be placed on such veterans’ graves a flag of the United States on every Memorial day. Upon the approval of the commissioner, compensation for 75 per cent of the cost of such flags, but none of the expenses attending the placement of such flags shall be paid by the commonwealth to the several cities and towns on or before November 10 in the year after such expenditures. In cities and towns where there are cemeteries with mausoleums containing the remains of deceased veterans, each such city or town shall cause to be placed on each mausoleum a suitable plaque with the names of all deceased veterans contained therein, and a flag of the United States shall be suitably placed at each mausoleum on every Memorial day.