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Hundreds of volunteers place flags at U.S. Air Force Academy cemetery ahead of Memorial Day

Posted at 5:48 PM, May 24, 2024

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — A moment to say thanks.

U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery

"We're here to remember all of the people that have given everything for their country," said volunteer Kirk Watson.

U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery

A moment to acknowledge the sacrifices made.

"They're fallen heroes," said Deen Weible. "They did all this just to protect us. It's the least we could do."

U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery

A moment of respect shared by the hundreds of volunteers who marked more than 1500 graves at the U.S. Air Force Academy cemetery with the flag each veteran buried here was called to protect.

There were children...

U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery

"I feel a sense of pride in our country," said Casey Snyder. "The fallen heroes that have served our country did us well."

A group of Boy Scouts from Troop 66 in Colorado Springs...

U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery

"(We're) remembering those who have served and fallen," said Boy Scout Peter Kwong.

U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery

Veterans...

"Memorial Day has meaning," said Air Force veteran David Stephenson. "We have to honor those who have given their all."

U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery

And those whose families have served, like Jackie Watson. Her father served in the Air Force as well as her husband's father. She was so moved to see all of the people at the cemetery she was in tears.

"No words," Watson said.

It's moments like these that help remind all of us of to take a moment to remember the meaning behind Memorial Day.

"It's a day to honor the fallen veterans that have put their lives on the line for us to have freedom," said Shane Snyder.

The USAF Academy Cemetery is the final resting place for 1544 veterans, one of them is Medal of Honor recipient Bill Crawford. The World War Two veteran is from Pueblo, Colorado. Also buried there is legendary fighter pilot and tactical fighter wing commander during the Vietnam War, Brigadier General Robin Olds. He shot down 17 enemy aircraft during World War II and the Vietnam War. He also served as the commandant of the cadets at USAFA. To see a list of people buried there click this link.

U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery

The first burial at the cemetery was in 1958. it was Lieutenant General Hubert R. Harmon, known as "The Father of the U.S. Air Force Academy." He was the first Air Force Academy Superintendent who was appointed in 1954.
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