LEE’S SUMIT, MO (KCTV) -- This Memorial Day will be different at the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery. There will be no crowd or Honor Guard because of large gathering restrictions, but one tradition will go on.

It takes time to set up 145 large American Flags to create the Avenue of Flags that surround the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery each Memorial Day.

“These flags are all donated by the families of veterans,” said Jerry Youngblood, Commander of the Jack Ray Post 5789 VFW. “These were the flags that their loved ones were buried under.”

“When you are going down 291 Highway and you see those flags, it makes you feel good,” said Jennifer Hoyt, VFW 5789’s Auxiliary President.

Youngblood also put out a call for help to place hundreds of smaller U.S. flags near each veteran’s grave to honor their sacrifice.

Eight-year-old Mason Krupa, his family, and many others answered that call.

“I think they deserve a lot of respect,” said Krupa. “If their families come out to the cemetery, I think it’s nice if we place a flag. The families know other people care about them.”

Social distancing requirements canceled plans to hold a Memorial Day ceremony and an all veterans breakfast.

“They are proud of what they’ve done for our country,” said Hoyt. “It’s really tough.”

“They fought through anything,” said Youngblood. “It didn’t matter what it was. We are here to tell them we are going to honor them regardless.”

You may remember that this time last year, strong winds damaged flags and flag poles at the cemetery. Thanks to generous donations, they were able to repair, replace, and raise the flags for this Memorial Day.

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