Memorial Day remembers men and women who died serving in the armed forces. It comes with a tradition of placing American flags on soldier’s graves.

Thousands of them were planted by the Loudon County Honor Guard next to the headstones of American heroes. Angie Ovens stopped by several cemeteries ahead of Memorial Day. She served in the air force and said it’s her way to say thank you for their service.

“For me to give back to somebody that maybe can’t come out here and honor their family member,” said Ovens.

Her group walked around for hours in the sweltering heat to recognize as many fallen veterans as possible. It’s a necessary gesture for Mike Schack who was in the army for almost five years.

“We are still honoring the ones who came before us. Without them, there would be no United States,” said Schack.

They go through a growing list of names and if they come across a headstone without any recognition on it, they use this sticker so a flag can be put there next year too.

“Without Memorial Day, there would be no veterans to go out and fight for independence,” he said.

It is not an easy task but these veterans say it’s personal to honor the fall. Ovens wanted to make sure families knew their hero is not forgotten.

“The best part is for the family members to know there is somebody still looking out for them.” Ovens said.