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Rolling Thunder plans Memorial Day ceremony

By Jim Conrad
Published On: May 21 2013 04:01:16 PM CDT
Updated On: May 20 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

One small towns impressive display of remembrance of Americas veterans.

MARION, Va. -

It may be one of the most impressive tributes to veterans that you'll find in the region this coming Memorial Day weekend.

It's simplistic in concept, but filled with honor and reverence for one county's deceased veterans.

Truck loads of American flags to be placed on the lawn of the Smyth County courthouse are being unloaded. It's the seventh year that the local VFW post has constructed a Memorial Day tradition and each year there are more and more flags, along with named crosses. as a remembrance.

"I think it's one of the most rewarding things that our post is doing is when we honor our deceased veterans," says Turk Johnson with VFW Post 4667.

This year, there will be 705 flags and crosses on the lawn and before they come down thousands will come to visit and remember those veterans.

Many more are passing each year. "Our post, we've lost 23 members since January," Johnson said.

Visitors are always impressed, including Rolling Thunder, a group dedicated to always remembering prisoners of war and those missing in action.

They are erecting a permanent Empty Chair Memorial on the lawn to be dedicated this Memorial Day. "This seat is dedicated to the 92,000 men and women that never came home from all previous wars. so they'll always be an empty chair for them," says Earl Leonard with Rolling Thunder Tennessee Chapter 4.

A fitting place among the hundreds of flags and crosses that will be the centerpiece of one towns Memorial Day remembrance.