KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Memorial Day is a time set aside to honor and pay respect to those servicemen and servicewomen who willingly gave their lives to protect our freedom.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett encourages everyone to pause this weekend to reflect on the sacrifice of so many who lost their lives at war. It is a personal message for Burchett because his mother and father served; it's a special time to remember his mother's brother who gave his life for his country.
"I have lived a very charmed life mainly because folks like my dad and Uncle Roy went off," Burchett says. "My Uncle Roy never got to come home. My dad would say he never got to see his kids grow old, to my daddy they were still 18 and 19 years old. Statistically my dad should have died but God had another plan for him."
Burchett's father Mr. Charles R Burchett Sr. served in World War II with his wife and he says many veterans like his father lived with some guilt that they got to go home.
"He would tell you if he was alive today, it's not about him or mama," Burchett says, "it's about his buddies who are still over there that didn't get to come home."
There are opportunities for volunteers and veterans to place American flags at the grave markers of the East Tennessee Veterans Cemeteries. Flag placement will begin at 8:00am at the E. Governor John Sevier Hwy location and 9:00am at the Lyons View Pike location.