Wood National Cemetery flags placed ahead of Memorial Day

As we prepare to praise them Monday, it’s a solemn weekend remembering the military members who have died.

In a sea of grave sites, each person named on a headstone made their own wave in the military.

"Showing them honor, dignity and respect they deserve," said Laura Beckel, a cemetery technician who was also a medic in the U.S. Army.

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One by one, volunteers placed flags for 35,000 fallen veterans at Wood National Cemetery.

"Try and remember what they’ve done for us," said U.S. Army Veteran Donald Traindle.

Volunteers place flags at Wood National Cemetery for Memorial Day 2022

It’s an emotional task for Traindle. Reflecting on the losses for those left behind, he prepares for Monday's ceremony knowing it will be a time of sorrow for many.

"I’ve lost a lot of friends overseas to deployments," he said. "I’m here to listen, comfort (others) if they need it."

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Traindle brought his son along to share the impact made by those brave service members. 

"They fought for us. For me, it’s an honor to them," he said.

Folks of all backgrounds and ages put down a prestige tribute – recognizing the spirit and selflessness that the military embodies.

Wood National Cemetery for Memorial Day 2022

"I’m 70 years old, and if they call me to go to war again at this age I would go again no matter what," said Jose Heredia-Burgos, a U.S. Army Veteran who served in Vietnam.

Monday's Memorial Day ceremony begins at 9 a.m. at Wood National Cemetery on the Milwaukee VA campus. It will honor fallen veterans, their families and the prisoners of war or those missing in action who never made it home. This year’s ceremony theme is "Remember and Honor."