MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many Minnesotans will visit Fort Snelling National Cemetery this Memorial Day weekend to honor those who served our country.
While many people will adorn their loved ones’ graves with flowers and flags, one group is hoping to bring the red white and blue to as many fallen heroes as possible.
Last year, Rocky Borchardt discovered it had been decades since the cemetery had enough resources and funding to place a flag at each grave site.
“We need to keep this tradition alive,” Borchardt said. “I really think it’s very important.”
Through a new nonprofit, Flags for Fort Snelling, Borchardt and her team raised thousands of dollars in the last year to be able to buy flags for the cemetery.
“We are looking at honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Borchardt said.
On Memorial Day, Borchardt and a group of 150 volunteers will bring 10,000 flags to the cemetery.
They will line the grave sites nearest to the path of the official ceremony to take place Memorial Day morning.
As a person with several family members serving in the armed forces, Borchardt says the small gesture is not just to honor those who served, but also their families.
“We’ve had a lot of people that they’re aging, they can’t get down here themselves,” Borchardt said. “It really adds a personal connection to the whole thing that just makes it really a spectacular feeling.”
For next year, Borchardt hopes to be able to buy more than 169,000 flags to place at every single grave site at the cemetery.
She estimates that will cost nearly $75,000.
Anyone who wants to help with the cause or volunteer to place the flags or remove them later this week can get more information here.