GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Under the shade of oak trees, the smell of hot dogs and the sounds of bagpipes filled the air as a procession of volunteers marched from the Michigan Veteran Homes to the cemetery next door. It's the final resting place to thousands of veterans, and on Wednesday, those volunteers made sure the veterans were properly remembered.
More than 5,000 flags were places at the gravesites of the fallen heroes, along Monroe Avenue NE. Amongst the volunteers were members of various scout groups.
"It's a big honor for us. Two of my uncles and one of their uncles are veterans. It's kind of near and dear to us, especially for the price these people paid," said Wayne Cassidy, who brought his sons. Andrew and Gabe Cassidy represent Boy Scout troop 222 and Cub Scout pack 3220 respectively.
Wayne says he wants to instill in his family the respect and understanding that not everyone comes home from service.
"They have been out to Arlington. That is an amazing place. This one here is the first time we've done it. It's absolutely wonderful. I just hope that they remember this as they get older."
Also in attendance was Zachary Baker, who many people in the neighborhood know for the many miles he jogs carrying the American flag. It's a tradition he started two years ago on the anniversary of September 11. He brought his flag with him on Wednesday to pay his respects.
"It means the world to me. My own grandfather, he served in the Navy in the Korean War many years ago. He passed away a few years ago and I'm trying to show my support for him," Baker said.
While many towns will have Memorial Day parades on Monday, the one in Grand Rapids is Tuesday at 6 p.m. It runs down Division Avenue from I-196 to Veterans Memorial Park.
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