Volunteers reflect on sacrifice, remove flags at Fort Sam cemetery

SAN ANTONIO – One of the most memorable images of Memorial Day in San Antonio is the sea of marble headstones at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, each marked with an American flag.

Tuesday morning, volunteers went to work removing each of the flags while reflecting on the sacrifice of veterans who paid the ultimate price.

"It's a way of giving back, and it's a way of showing everyone (who) comes out that we do appreciate the sacrifice that these veterans made," said volunteer James Day.

While volunteers used their hands to pick up each flag, their minds were on something bigger.

"I like to think about how they thought, what did they do? What they actually go through in that moment in time, and it's very special," said Jana Diaz.

Some even read the names on the headstones as they worked.

"I try to relate and say a prayer for every one of them, and just thank them," said Beth Flores.

As she picked up flags, she was also remembering someone she lost.

"Yesterday was difficult for my husband and I because we lost one of our friends from high school last year in Afghanistan. His name was Sam Hairston, and he was a Ranger," she said.