WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Memorial weekend is a time to remember those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. Several volunteers honored their memory Saturday morning by placing flags at their gravesides at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens in West Lafayette.
Boy Scout Chris Carter, 15, had never taken part in the annual tradition.
“Wow there are a lot of graves out here for veterans,” said Carter at the sight of the cemetery. “It’s one of those things where [it] just kind of makes you sad, and you just got to think about it.”
More than 2,000 flags were placed at the West Lafayette cemetery. Volunteers like Elks Lodge member Gene Hills says its what the weekend’s all about.
It’s really rewarding for everybody that puts them up,” said Hills. “When you drive by the cemetery on Memorial Day, it shows what Memorial Day is really all about.”
For many of Saturday’s flag placers, the day is about paying their due respect.
“I was trying to focus a lot. I didn’t want to miss anybody,” said Carter in reference to placing individual flags. “I respect veterans a lot.”
Fellow Boy Scout Ollie Moser, 14, said he has mixed feelings about the day.
“I”m happy for all these people who have helped us serve, but then it’s sad for all the people who have died,” said Moser.
The combination of emotions is felt even more deeply by Hills, who served in the Korean War.
“It kind of chokes you up a little bit as you go around and look at all the different veterans in the different services that they served in,” said Hills.
The Tippecanoe County Veterans Council organizes the placing of flags every year, which makes for grateful families that choose to honor their loved ones over the weekend.
“The families really do appreciate the fact that they’re marked with a flag,” said Rebecca Enoch, a planning manager at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens. “If anybody has a loved one out here that does not have a flag, they are welcome to come into the office and we’ll help them with that.”
However bittersweet the weekends events may be for families and service men and women, the flags that fly in the winds will always honor their sacrifice.
“I think we’re always going to see some veterans. Even if we don’t have wars, they’ll be recognized for their service,” said Hills.