Tim Kalinowski spends each Memorial Day the same way, taking a moment to reflect and cleaning up his father’s gravestone.
“My dad being a vet and myself being a vet, this weekend is a very special weekend,” Kalinowski said.
Next to the gravestone, sat a plaque for serving in both the Korean War and World War II, but also an American flag.
The flag is just one of about five thousand laid out by ROTC high school students like Elizabeth Gilchrist.
“These are all the people that have passed away that have given their life and sacrificed themselves to serve our country,” said Gilchrist, a tenth grader at McDowell High School.
“After it’s all done and you’ve laid down that last flag, you turn around and you see all these headstone markers of all these people who have given the ultimate sacrifice,” said John Nygaard, the director of McDowell’s junior ROTC program.
Organizers say the veterans’ bravery and dedication deserve the spotlight this weekend.
“It’s sad that it’s gone that way where we have all these big memorial day sales and everything to take away from the true meaning of it,” Kalinowski said.