MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tributes are pouring in all across the country in honor of Veterans Day. One Mid-South organization scaled down its ceremony due to the coronavirus, but their message was still loud and clear.
On this Veterans Day, a community came together to show its gratitude at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.
“It feels good knowing that there is still some good ones out here that love and support our country,” said Harrison Walker with the Marine Corps.
Over 26,000 flags line the graves of veterans in what has been described as a “token of appreciation” on behalf of the West Tennessee Veterans Support Committee. Nearly 500 volunteers made it possible.
“We have just tons of people that have in their heart, you know, want to appreciate and respect the veterans, and that’s what this is all about, showing respect,” said event organizer Donald Kennedy.
The coronavirus forced organizers to condense its ceremony this year, but there was still a fly over, a 21-gun salute and two performances.
For Walker, being able to return to his hometown for this ceremony means everything to him.
“Just taking pride in who I am and what others have done for me and just coming here and showing my respect as a young marine. Just wanna give back and do my part as best as I can,” Walker said.
As these festivities come to an end, veterans like Charlie Wells, Sr., hopes everyone can understand the true meaning of the day.
“We have to honor them, that service and peace that they brought to us, cause freedom ain’t free,” Wells said. “Somebody’s gotta give their lives to make sure that the rest of the country has the opportunity to serve in an un-war type of atmosphere.”
The organizers hope to resume formal ceremonies next year.