KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Memorial Day is right around the corner, and communities in the east are getting an early start on the holiday.
If you head to any of the cemeteries in Kinston, you’ll find an American flag at every veteran’s tombstone.
Many say the flag represents honor and commitment, which is why they put them next to the men and women who deserve it the most.
Thousands of men and women in the United States military have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“These are the folks that gave us the opportunity to live the life we live,” said retire veteran Terry Boyles .
Saturday dozens want to pay respects to those lost, by placing flags at every veteran tombstone in Kinston.
“Basically to pay tribute to our fallen brothers and sisters over the generations, they paved the way for us to have the freedoms that we do have, “said Sergeant First Class John Smith.
Volunteers and members of the military made stops at the Lenoir County Courthouse, the Korean and Vietnam memorial, and over five cemeteries.
Smith says this isn’t his first time doing this.
“You try to get a measurement so that everything stays within a line one foot from the head stone centered of that head stone,” said Smith.
And this time he didn’t come alone.
“I bring my five year old son out here just to teach him you know that there are sacrifices that have to be made,” explained Smith “He asks a lot of questions every time we put a flag out he asks me about the person that we are putting the flag out there for.”
Many like Boyles said this a time to remember what we are fighting for.
“Personally when I put a flag down I always pause for a second and say thank you to that person,” said Boyles.