Volunteers set up 58,000 flags at Santa Fe National Cemetery

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Volunteers worked tirelessly Friday morning to honor those buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

It will host one the state’s largest Memorial Day ceremonies Monday. 

About 58,000 American flags were placed at grave sites. Organizers say about 250 volunteers, including school kids, business groups and others were out Friday morning helping set up for Monday’s Memorial Day ceremonies.

It is an annual tradition and organizers say the number of volunteers keeps growing. 

For some who don’t have loved ones buried at the cemetery, they say it is just their way to thank those service members who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
 
For others like John Colwell, who served in Vietnam and buried his parents at the Santa Fe National Cemetery, Memorial Day weekend is especially emotional. 
 
“Just really moving, there’s just not anything you can say,” he said. “They’re honoring people they don’t even know.”

“It’s very humbling to come out here and see all these gravestones of people who have done extraordinary things for our country,” explained veteran Gene Roche. 
 
Roche led a volunteer group from the Hyatt hotel to the cemetery to help set up flags Friday morning. 

The Memorial Day ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Monday with guest speakers, patriotic music and traditional ceremonies scheduled.  

The cemetery will also need volunteers on Tuesday to collect the flags. 

That will begin at 9 a.m.
 

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