MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Community members were out early Saturday morning at the West Tennessee Veterans’ Cemetery honoring those who served.

Over 100 volunteers showed up to place over 26,000 flags on the grave sites of soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Patrick Russo and Peggy Maes visited from Belgium to pay respect to the men and women who flew thousands of miles from their home country to Europe to protect freedoms at home and abroad.

“This is normal that we are here to thank you guys for what you have done for us and will do, and maybe we can do the same for you,” Russo said. “We never know. The respect that you are showing for your veterans and this kind of celebration. It is deep in your culture, something that less exists in Europe, and I am all the time pretty amazed by that.”

Maes told WREG that she and Russo took separate routes at the cemetery.

“When we started walking here, the two of us walked separately because it is something you have to live and respect for every individual who is here and who served the country.”

For the first time since the pandemic, there will be a full Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Cemetery on Monday at 11 am.

“We are showing respect to the people who served our country to the point where I fly every year from Germany to Memphis for this event,” Albert Warren said.