FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Hundreds of people gathered early Monday morning to help pay tribute to military heroes who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Just after daybreak on Memorial Day men, women, and children gathered at Fresno Memorial Gardens in Fresno County for the 53rd annual Avenue of the Flags.
It all began back in 1963 with just 35 flags. Now over 1,400 flags are placed around the cemetery thanks to the hard work of volunteers. Many of them want future generations to always remember what memorial day is all about.
"To let them know that we're free and that these boys have died for us to keep us free," said Veronica Trevino, Kerman.
Fresno Memorial Gardens is the final resting place for nearly 2,500 veterans. Each flag is dedicated to them and their families.
Once the flags were up by mid-morning hundreds more gathered for a service to honor the men and women in all branches of the military who died while serving our country.
"It's an important purpose. You ask any family that's been handed an American Flag in the shape of a tri-corner colonial hat-- they never forget," said Sgt. Brian Burry, Vietnam Veteran.
Fresno Memorial Gardens paid tribute to those who served from World War II through Operation Enduring Freedom. Each were honored with songs like "God Bless America" and a rifle salute.
Congressman Jim Costa helped with several presentations, including one for gold, silver, and blue star moms.
"Our Valley and our nation owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to these men and women, who sole selflessly answered the call of duty."
Now the flags will be removed later this evening with the help of hundreds of volunteers and the volunteers will be treated to a dinner right after.