Volunteers adorn graves of 17,000 veterans

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - This Memorial Day weekend the graves of thousands of veterans are adorned with American flags thanks to some caring volunteers. About 1,000 volunteers went to Biloxi National Cemetery on Saturday morning to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Some people said the best way to honor fallen heroes is to always keep the patriotic spirit alive. Seven year old Kaden Graham said he was happy to place an American flag at the headstone of his great-grandparents and all the other veterans who've served.

"I like to do this a lot. I like to put the flags out on each grave," said Graham.

Enrique Acosta-Gonzalez and his family have made adorning graves at Biloxi National Cemetery a Memorial Day tradition. Acosta-Gonzalez said it's his job as a parent to teach his son the responsibilities that come with being an American.

"That's something that is home grown and only those that value their country can teach," said Acosta-Gonzalez. "So that's something that I hold dear to me, and I want my son to pass on to his son."

It took volunteers about half an hour to put flags on the 17,000 graves. Organizers were humbled by the turnout. Nettie Jones is a member of the Biloxi National Cemetery Memorial Committee.

"I was very proud of them coming out because some of them had other things to do this weekend. Some of them are going to go and be with their families. Some of them go and visit those that are in the hospitals. So we're thankful for those that came out today."

"We came out because we want to honor our vets. We also have family members that are our here," said Robert Johnson, a volunteer. "Being a vet, I've had friends who were killed so we just want to do what we can to honor them. "

Some young people say their generation needs to learn about the sacrifices of those who came before them so one day they can pick up freedom's torch.

Caleb Stockstill is part of Troop 712 in Biloxi. He said, "It shows people what they should do like they should be as brave as these people were. So they should go out and be just as brave even braver if they have to."

The Biloxi National Cemetery's Memorial Day Ceremony will take place Monday at 9:30 am. Keesler Air Force Base Commander Brigadier General Andrew Mueller will be the guest speaker.

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