LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – In a powerful display of appreciation, 15,000 American Flags were proudly placed on the Great Lawn Saturday.

“It's very moving and it's very powerful,” said Shari Schmit, whose grandparents served in World War Two.  

“It hits you right in the face when you first see it,” said Kerry Martin, whose mom was a Marine.

The field of flags even brought some to tears.

“It just reminds you every day why we're free. And these men and women who fight for us and give us this right," Schmit said.

Behind each flag there is a story and a person to be remembered, which is why one veteran spent the day in the sweltering heat picking up and each and every flag that had fallen over.

“Because to me, like I said, it symbolizes a fallen brother or a veteran that’s committed suicide. So when I see them down I want to pick them up. That's how I do my brothers and my sisters,” Army and Air Force veteran Marvin Jackson said.

While the flags are a sign of appreciation, they also serve another purpose. The display raises money for the non-profit organization Flags for Vets. That money is then used to purchase flags that will be shipped to cemeteries across the country to make sure every veteran's grave has an American Flag on it 365 days a year.

“So that they're not forgotten. People need to realize that people gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to be here today,” Johnson said.

“People don't appreciate the United States the way they should be because if you go somewhere and see how they live, trust me you will come back. You will appreciate the United States a whole lot more,” Jackson said.

The hope is that the display will help everyone remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.

“This is beautiful, it's sad at the same time, but it's very, very beautiful,” Schmit said. “And this just shows how great America is because of these men and women.”

“It just means so much to see that  all this love out here is for the veterans and veterans don't hear that  enough,” Jackson said.

The flags will be taken down on Tuesday morning after Memorial Day weekend.

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