HOUSTON -- In a Memorial Day weekend tribute more than 65,000 American flags are now in place at every grave and headstone at Houston National Cemetery thanks to a small army of volunteers.
The group Flags for Fallen Vets issued an appeal for volunteers to help place the flags Sunday morning. An estimated 2,400 showed up and by 8:30 a.m. every single flag was in place.
“I’m very proud, very honored to get to do this,” said Vickie Schmitt the mom of an active duty Marine. “I’m very proud of him. And I look around (at the flags and headstones) and I can’t imagine him not coming home.”
The volunteers included military families, veterans, Boy Scouts, school groups and teams from Houston-area corporations.
“These are our brothers out here,” said Winslow Guttierez with the Tejano Veterans Association. “That’s what it’s all about. But we don’t forget them.”
“It’s overwhelming,” said Marine veteran Jeff Crenshaw. “I mean there’s so many graves out here and it was done so fast it just shows you what kind of support they had.”
“My heart swells with pride that there’s this many people that care about the veterans, that people have served,” said Navy veteran Steve Smith.
“I just love being able to show my support to the armed forces and show them I really care about what they do for our country,” said 16-year-old Zachary Pratts with Cypress-Area Cub Scout Pack 846.
“The military is just amazing and you can’t compare like what they do for our country,” added fellow scout Allen Rice IV.
David Glover, of Clear Lake, spoke with KHOU 11 News while he stood next to his father’s grave. Warren Gerald Glover was a bombardier-navigator in a B-29 over Japan in World War II.
“Respect,” David Glover said when asked what the garden of American flags meant to him. “Respect and sacrifice of all the people that are out here.”
Flags for Fallen Vets also organized flag placement at the DFW National Cemetery.
The Memorial Day Service at Houston National Cemetery is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday.