Fallen veterans honored at 77th Flag Placement Day

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – On Saturday, several local organizations began the Memorial Day weekend by honoring thousands of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Mountain Home National Cemetary in Johnson City is the site of over 17,000 grave sites, marking resting places for many veterans who gave their lives for their country. This weekend, thousands of scouts, their families, and volunteers placed flags on those graves to honor the many lives lost.

“It’s a joy to honor our veterans who served our country,” said Timothy Shawn Tweed with Abingdon Scouting Troop 70.

“I think that the soldiers who [have] fallen in wars and other veterans should be honored,” said Cahill Harvey with Kingsport Troop 387.

Tweed said participating in the flag placement gives him a sense of duty.

“It’s an obligation,” Tweed said. “We can’t really repay it, but it’s a repayment to those who served. It’s really important because it shows how we are a part of our country and how we support those who have given to us.”

The ceremony began with a performance of Amazing Grace on the Bagpipes, a 21-gun solute, and a performance of Taps. The performances were followed by hundreds of volunteers placing the flags.

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Scouts from Weber City Scouting Troop 86 said the number of volunteers shows them the importance of their work.

“These people that are coming out are honoring the veterans,” said Scout Isaiah Jessee. “And it’s really good for the country.”

“As a scout, our duty is to honor our elders, respect our elders,” said Scout Jackson Worley. “But it’s also nice to see that people in the community have come out here to support our veterans.”

The scouts said that although many will use the holiday as a 3-day weekend, it’s important to remember why it exists.

“If we don’t celebrate our veterans that served us, then what’s the point?” said Jessee. “What’s the point of just having a holiday if you’re not going to celebrate it, you’re just going to let it go by?”

“It helps the country still remember what price has to be paid for freedom,” said Harvey. “And all the people who are willing to do that.”

The cemetery will hold a Memorial Day service on Monday, May 27th, at 11 a.m.

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