By Katie Steiner

BLOOMINGTON, MN (WCCO) —  The Sunday before Memorial Day, a nonprofit called Flags for Fort Snelling hosts an event called Minnesota Remembers. Six to 7,000 volunteers come to Fort Snelling National Cemetery to place flags on each of the headstones. It’s something Linda Hofstadter tries to do every year.

“I came here last year, and it was just very moving. I am here to thank the vets and their families for all their sacrifices,” Hofstadter said. “I just think about the wives and husbands who were left home taking care of kids and dads. They are sacrificing for my freedom. And I just want to thank them.”

She went around to each grave and said their name out loud, thanked them for their service, and placed the flag on their grave. While Hofstadter used words to honor the dead, Jim Norrbom used silence. An Army Veteran, Norrbom saluted twice at each grave he visited.

“They have all have committed some type of sacrifice, and this is my way of honoring their sacrifice that they have done for our country,” Norrbom said.

Norrbom said he will continue to come every year that he is able to place flags on these graves. There are about 175,000 headstones at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, and each one gets a flag. Norrbom said seeing so many volunteers is touching.

“It means a lot,” he said. “It means that we support our veterans. That’s the big thing. You support our veterans, you support what they stand for.”

You can register to help collect the flags after the Memorial Day Weekend at Flags for Fort Snelling.

Katie Steiner