LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — On this holiday weekend, some folks may be barbecuing or swimming. But the true meaning of Memorial Day wasn’t lost on a few people who woke up early Saturday to plant thousands of American flags.
At least 500 volunteers visited the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery to place more than 30,000 flags along the graves of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“What it says to me is to always care for the people who’ve served,” 12-year-old Tayla Westman, who was there with her mother, said.
Every race, color, and age were at the cemetery, a group as diverse as the United States of America. Each person was holding the star-spangled banner and carefully sticking a flag near a grave.
Mac Weymond brought his 10-year-old son along hoping he learned a valuable lesson.
“Freedom isn’t just something that we get. But it’s something that had to be earned and that he sees the people that actually earned it for us,” Weymond said.
Some of the children taking part in this American ritual understood what it meant.
“Memorial Day really just representing and showing that we care for those who have fallen and died in wars,” Bordy Coleman said.
Jonathan Stone, a U.S. Navy veteran, comes from a family of veterans. His dad and uncles served in World War II.
“We have to respect. I think respect is the most important thing,” Stone said.
Kristina Arcos’s father is a veteran. With her 12-year-old daughter Tayla Westman in tow, she said walking by each grave is emotionally stirring and adds gravity to the sacrifice of protecting our freedoms.
“It’s definitely emotional and humbling to think of all these, what they say 33,000 people have been buried here? So you know, coming and honoring them, letting them know that they’re not forgotten,” Arcos said.
The American flags will stay on the graves until Tuesday. There will be an event on Monday at 1 p.m.