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Veterans, family members of fallen heroes collect hundreds of flags from graves

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 11:35 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Stars and stripes marked headstones row on row at Evergreen Cemetery. Monday evening, veterans and family members of fallen heroes gathered up the American flags.

“My father was a veteran and his grandfather was a veteran who did pass,” said Bellaluz Smith. “I like to honor his grandfather.”

The 13-year-old joined a couple dozen Legion, VFW and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA) members who collected nearly 1,500 flags to be stored for another year. She worked diligently on behalf of her father.

“Memorial Day is a bit heavy on him because he remembers his friends who have passed,” Smith said. “[What was going through my mind as I picked up the flags is] I was grateful that they served this country, that they fought so hard during those tough times.”

“This weekend is not just a long weekend,” said Erik Whysong, a CVMA member. “Today and this weekend is to remember those who have fallen.”

Whysong, who comes from a big military family, says Memorial Day is often difficult for those who have lost loved ones to war. However, one quote gets him through.

“It was General Patton who said, ‘It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived,’” Whysong said.

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