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3,000 flags to honor our veterans

It's never too early to honor our veterans.

Today (May 25), volunteers from the American Legion placed 3,000 United States flags on gravesites of veterans in advance of Memorial Day.

About 25 volunteers from the American Legion Kenner Post 377 spread out over the grounds Garden of Memories Funeral Home and Cemetery in Metairie.

John Appel, who manages the funeral home and cemetery, says they've been honoring veterans this way as long as he's been there. He says it is an important tradition because the veterans buried there have earned it.

Appel told one of the many stories of sacrifice of the veterans buried at Garden of Memories. "There is a gentleman that served in World War I and survived World War I," he says. "To his left is a son that he lost in World War II. And, to the right is the son he lost in Vietnam. And he outlived both of them. And all three of them are here. To me, that -- just looking at that silent monument speaks volumes about what our veterans have done for us."

Buried in Garden of Memories are veterans of wars dating back to the Spanish-American War.

Kenner Post Commander Michael Martin says it's the the American Legion's mission to honor veterans on Memorial Day. But, he says they work all year to help veterans, both in symbolic ways, like the flags, and actual help navigating the federal Veterans Affairs process.

Martin, a veteran, says his father is buried in Garden of Memories.

It will take the volunteers about two hours to place the 3,000 flags around the cemetery.