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Appleton Boy Scouts honor fallen veterans at Highland Memorial Park Cemetery

Flags in Memorial Park honoring fallen veterans. May 25, 2023. (Photo Courtesy: WLUK)<p></p>
Flags in Memorial Park honoring fallen veterans. May 25, 2023. (Photo Courtesy: WLUK)

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APPLETON (WLUK) -- Leading up to Memorial Day weekend, Appleton's Highland Memorial Park Cemetery was turned into a site for kids to honor roughly 5,000 veterans.

"They gave up so much for this country, so we have to honor them in turn for all that they gave up," said Troop 41 Senior Patrol Leader Matthew Ehlers.

Dozens of troops of all different ages gathered to participate in the now yearly tradition of setting up American flags near gravestones of veterans.

Click here for the community calendar of Memorial Day events.

Ehlers said it’s his third time doing it, and it won’t be his last.

“There are people giving it everything they have -- 110% while we’re just out here kicking back doing nothing, that we should be doing more ," Ehlers said.

Jaden Lapean with VFW troop 67 said the event, and holiday as a whole, bring people together with their shared appreciation for those who served.

“During it, when people are walking around and placing the flags around, it just feels cool and nice that everyone actually is pitching in and doing their share," Lapean said.

Lapean believes putting up flags to remember those fallen soldiers lost is the least he can do.

“I didn’t help out with the wars and stuff, so it makes me feel good that I’m doing something to honor those people who fought for us to be able to be here and do what we can," Lapean said.

Lapean said it would take between one to two hours to make sure a flag was placed next to each veteran grave. Every year, new veteran gravestones are found and more flags are planted.

"There are so many veterans out here that aren't marked on the list that we don't put flags on until we find them," Ehlers said.

But the troops involved hope the impact reaches anyone who's ever served in the military.

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"All of the veterans in general," Ehlers said. "It kind of symbolizes how America -- we are strong, but we still honor everyone who gave up something for our country."

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