LYNNWOOD, Wash. - Thousands of American flags were placed across Lynnwood on Saturday to honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend.
Veterans and people in the community said they want to expand this tradition and make sure it continues for many more decades. With every flag planted, people said they are honoring service, sacrifice and teaching the next generation to carry it on.
"Say 'Thank you, Ronald', say 'Thank you, Ronald'. Yeah. That's really special. He served in the Navy," Elizabeth Nunes said to her granddaughter.
Nunes said this moment is about teaching something important. Her husband served in the Marines and now, she's telling her 4-year-old granddaughter, Evy, all about our country's servicemen and women.
"I poke the hole, and she puts the flag in, and she says thank you. I tell her the name of who is there, and we just say what they served in," Nunes said.
At Floral Hills Cemetery in Lynnwood, people of all ages are placing American flags at the graves of those who gave their lives for our country. It's part of a Memorial Day Service put on by members of the Sno-King Chapter #423 Vietnam Veterans of America and Purdy & Walters at Floral Hills.
Linda Daniels said her husband, Dan Daniels, served in the Navy for 27 years. Memorial Day is one of her favorite holidays.
"He loved being in the Navy and fighting for the freedom of our country," she told FOX 13 News.
Every flag at a grave site tells a story of perhaps a father, mother or friend.
Sgt. Maj. Chris Young said the flags also show a sacrifice for the greater good.
"Today it's raining, but these soldiers served during the rain and everything else so it's an opportunity for the younger people, the scouts that are going to be here to get an idea of what it's like to serve their community," Young said.
In the early morning light, despite a bit of drizzle, the lesson is clear.
"Display the flag and take a few moments to just reflect back on the service of our citizens and what it means to our country and the value of service," Air Force Veteran Steve Pennington said.
Organizers said people should never forget and teach the next generation to do the same.
"It's connecting. It's connecting. It's not about us today, who came before us, who's going to be here after us. It's our responsibility to teach and honor forever," Nunes said.
Organizers told FOX 13 News this is the 30th year for the event.
They also said they're seeing participation, not only with members, but the community grow immensely following the pandemic as people look to reconnect again.