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Organizations gather to place flags on veterans graves at Magnolia Park Cemetery

Seven veterans organizations came out to cover over 2,000 graves with flags.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Memorial Day is a day to honor those who died while serving in the United States military. Communities come together to recognize the sacrifices made and the legacies left behind.

On Sunday morning, seven veterans organizations came together in Warner Robins, at the Magnolia Park Cemetery, to place flags on the graves of deceased veterans. 

"It's great, it really is,"  American Legion Post 172 Commander Karin Winward said.

Winward says many people came out on Sunday. She says it's the most they've ever had. Some families brought their children to support and represent military families. 

"We're here to remember and honor those lives who gave up their lives, so that we have freedoms that we have today," Winward said.

The tradition is known as Flags In. It originated in 1948. It's a special one for Winward who's family is heavily involved in the military. 

She served in the military for 26 years,  her husband served for 31 years and is now buried at Arlington National cemetery, her daughter has served 26 years. 

Winward says her son is an 80% medically disabled veteran and he served for 18 years.

"We've got 110 years military service between the four of us so we have a big connection," she said. 

Her father and in-laws also served.

Throughout the cemetery you'll find flags around over 2,000 names, which were familiar for some volunteers. 

"I recognize many names of folks I served with or people I've been connected with through the American Legion, VFW, or other veterans organizations here in Middle Georgia," Tom Grabowski said.

Grabowski is a recently retired Air Force Veteran. He served as a Major General. 

He says the day can be emotional. 

"I recently lost a very good friend. I haven't located his marker yet, but I'm certainly going to do that before I leave here today," he said.

He says the day is also a reminder. 

"Memorial Day, while this is a three day weekend it's more about honoring our veterans and our past veterans and the people we've lost," Grabowski said.

As he looked over the finished product, he says it was heartwarming as an American citizen, and a veteran. 

"You can't turn on a radio, TV or newspaper without people telling you what's wrong with America, but as I look over this cemetery I see what's right with America," Grabowski said.

On Monday, these fallen soldiers will be recognized during the Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Magnolia Park Cemetery.

The event starts at 11:00 am and will having speakers like Mayor LaRhonda Patrick.


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