Volunteers came to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Saturday to place American flags at the gravesites of fallen U.S. servicemen and women as a way to honor them and their ultimate sacrifice.
The solemn tradition takes place every Memorial Day Weekend at Fort Rosecrans in San Diego.
For Philip Roberts, who volunteered with his family, placing the flags is an opportunity to show his children the significance of honoring and remembering the lives lost in protecting our freedom.
“It’s important that they understand the importance of the day [Memorial Day]. It’s more than just a mattress sale or something. It’s honoring so many men and women from the past and today that have given the ultimate sacrifice for the country.”
Heidi Taylor also volunteered with her children to make them aware that the men and women laid to rest at Fort Rosecrans fought hard for our country.
“Freedom is not free," she said. "People have given their lives and fought hard for our country and every American needs to celebrate that and remember that.”
Harvey Semler is a veteran visiting his daughter in San Diego from Washington state. He decided to extend his trip a little longer to volunteer on Saturday morning.
“I had never been to one of these since I left the military,” Semler said.
Graham Wright, the Assistant Cemetery Director at Fort Rosecrans, was moved to see so many kids, parents and grandparents paying their respects.
“It brings great joy to my heart to see so many people out here,” Wright told NBC 7.
In all, 86,000 gravesites were decorated with an American flag, in addition to a flag being placed at each columbarium wall.
On Monday,a Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Rosecrans will take place at 10 a.m. at the Rostrum.
There are several ceremonies and events being held in San Diego this Memorial Day Weekend to honor lives and the sacrifices made of our country’s military men and women.