“Amazing:” Volunteers honor veterans by placing thousands of flags at Wood National Cemetery

MILWAUKEE -- It's become an annual tradition for military families and volunteers. Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of American flags were placed at Wood National Cemetery on Thursday, May 25th.

It never matters how long it takes for those offering their time, because they know what was already given up.

Wood National Cemetery

"My father was in World War II. My uncle was in Korea. My oldest brother was in Vietnam, and my other brother was in the service," said Robert Besch.

That is why volunteers like Besch return each year to plant flags at the cemetery.

"What a beautiful turnout with everybody out here. The day has turned out beautiful," said Besch.

Wood National Cemetery

Their individual commitment is unwavering.

"Helping our vets, our heroes really," said a volunteer.

Nathan Sponholz

Which is why John Petoskey and his wife, Renee, were back and joined by an ever-growing number of first-time volunteers. The Petoskey's son will be leaving soon for the United States Navy.

"Absolutely amazing seeing all these people come out and putting flags on all these amazing people's graves," said Nathan Sponholz, Petoskey's son.

The volunteers placed more than 30,000 flags in an hour. Some years ago, it would take the entire day to get that work done.

Wood National Cemetery

"Things were reserved and it took up to 12 hours to place flags," said Bill Janowski.

Janowski deemed it a testament to how the Milwaukee area views its veterans.

"Very veteran-centric community," said Janowski.

Wood National Cemetery

Wood National Cemetery

The volunteers left their respects in clear view at the Wood National Cemetery.

"It's an honor put flags for the people that have served our country and lost their lives," a volunteer said.