The tapping of wooden stakes could be heard across the Roselawn Cemetery Friday morning.
Dozens of Decatur JROTC students marked the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with a service gesture.
“When you come out here on a day like Pearl Harbor Memorial Day and you come out here and you're marking veterans' graves, you just have a sense of pride, sir, a sense of purpose, like you're doing something to help these people be remembered,” Matthew Tankersley, a senior at Decatur High School, said.
The students worked in teams of four to mark the graves of the more than 2,000 veterans in preparation for a wreath laying ceremony next Saturday.
The project is spearheaded by Wreaths Across America. Each veteran’s grave was marked with a stake, which will soon hold a wreath.
Junior Robert Jones’ great-grandfather, Robert Dovey, was a petty officer in the Navy. Jones said the wreath laying is a great opportunity to help teach the community.
“It's showing cadets and kids and people these days how to show respect to the people that actually risked their lives to make the people now better, to make life better for them,” Jones said.
It’s a respect that’s especially poignant on this national day of remembrance.
The formal wreath laying ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 15 at 11 a.m.
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