LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Each year, a Michigan woman makes it her mission to honor veterans who have passed by making sure those resting at Southern Nevada’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City are not forgotten.
Five years ago, Dawn Kramer came out to honor her father, who was laid to rest at the cemetery. He served as a marine in the Korean War from 1947 to 1952. He was one of the “Frozen Chosen.” She had an extra flag with her, and what began with just two flags spread to thousands.
“Decided after crying I would honor another in his section, who was a marine and in Korea, too,” Kramer said.
She noticed a lack of flags for Veterans Day and changed that. Now, there are about 9,000 flags.
“Without all these people, I couldn’t do this. So I am grateful,” she said.
She purchases the flags herself and through sponsorships from a shop in Boulder City. She collects and repurposes the flags come Sunday.
The Battistone family came out to help, volunteering on a day when there’s no school.
“I thought it was a fun opportunity for a service project,” Dannica Battistone said.
“We’re doing this and serving and working together as family and friends,” her father, Dann Battistone, said.
Vietnam Navy veteran Gary Evans just flew on the Honor Flight. He was there Friday to give back.
“We cannot forget the sacrifices these young fellas made. When people say ‘Thank you for your service,” I say ‘You’re welcome for your freedom,’ ” Evans said.
Kramer is unrelenting. She won’t stop until all 50,000 laid to rest have been honored, all the while, carrying her father’s memory.
“His twinkling blue eyes are smiling at me, I know it,” Kramer said. “This is for you, Andrew Martin Kramer, proud marine. And I am a proud marine’s daughter.”
There have been more volunteers year over year. The attendees stress the importance to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The ceremony is at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The event features an honor guard, a 21-gun salute and Taps played at sunset.