For the first time, 17-year-old Dakota Bise honored his grandfather by putting a flag in front of his tombstone inside the DFW National Cemetery.
"It was just something hard to handle," he said. "I got there and I had to make sure I did it right. Just for him. I had to make extra sure."
His father, Jeremy Bise, took close behind his son, watching silently. "Honor, respect, loyalty, it’s pretty much what I learned," he said. "I miss him."
The Bise’s were just some of the many people who showed up a day early to help prepare for Memorial Day.
Volunteers helped set up more than 20,000 flags throughout the cemetery. It seems like a difficult task, but when you have 2000 volunteers, it could be done in just about an hour.
The Nigro family of four has made it an annual tradition to make the trip from Aledo for years.
"Each time you go to one of the gravesites you say the name of that individual person, it’s a little personalized. Probably it’s the first time it’s been said in a long time," said Anthony Nigro.
Event organizer Sgt. Maj. Hayward Bellah said he’s thankful so many people in the metroplex are willing to spend their holiday weekend helping out.
"I’m a Vietnam Veteran so I know a lot of people that were in this, a lot of friends that are here," he said. "The patriotism of these people just lifts my heart up."
The Memorial Day service begins at 11:00 a.m. on Monday. The cemetery opens at 8:00 a.m.