East Tennessee community helps prepare Knoxville National Cemetery for Memorial Day

The cemetery has more than 8,400 headstones of veterans and family members of veterans who’ve died.
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 12:32 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Memorial Day has a touching meaning for everyone at the Knoxville National Cemetery.

“Honoring those that died and giving back to those who died by coming out here,” Will McMichael said.

For some, like Chad Rogers, it goes to a deeper and more personal level. “A lot of names that we wish were still around, a lot of people we miss tremendously. We wonder about their families, the little ones especially,” Rogers said.

Rogers served in Iraq and said a lot of his friends and colleagues didn’t make it home.

“I remember seeing the bodies loaded onto planes and being flown out. For myself it’s friends and it’s people I served with,” Rogers said.

That’s why Rogers helped place thousands of American flags in front of more than 8,400 headstones of veterans and family members of veterans who’ve died.

“They’re still a lot of pride in our country,” Rogers said.

Several families brought their little ones to the national cemetery to place flags. A local boy scout troop also made an appearance to help place flags.

“It’s just keeping the people that are dead alive and not forgetting about them because they did die for us and they’re the reason why we’re here,” said McMichael who is a boy scout.

McMichael has family who is currently serving in the military but wants to keep the focus of this weekend and Memorial Day on the ones at the Knoxville National Cemetery.

“When you put the flag down and read all of the names, it’s like really just remembering them,” McMichael said.

The Memorial Day ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Knoxville National Cemetery Monday.