WILLIAMSPORT -- As Memorial Day approaches, members of the Williamsport Bureau of Fire are placing American flags at veterans' grave sites at a cemetery in the city.
It's a simple gesture that takes less than a minute to do, but when these firefighters salute the graves of veterans who have passed and are now buried in St. Boniface Cemetery, they don't do it for the thank you.
"It's about coming out and showing respect," said Terry Dawes.
Every year for over 75 years, right before Memorial Day, members of the Williamsport Bureau of Fire take time to place American flags at veterans' gravesites.
"I noticed it right away because when I get up I always look over," said Dawes.
Dawes lives across the street from the cemetery on Penn Street and a few years ago, he helped the firefighters put out the flags.
"It's a great tribute because you know they served our country to make us free," he said.
"And that's what we want to pass on to our younger generation and the newer firefighters: you know don't take for granted what you have today. Remember," said union president Keith Lucas.
With nearly 300 flags now place in the cemetery, it's easy to see how many men and women have served our country, some dating as far back as the Revolutionary War.
"It means a lot to me to have served in the military, that even people who served in the Revolutionary War, who fought for what we have today, that people are still coming out and paying respect to them," Williamsport firefighter Gabe Webber said.
"It's humbling to know that someday some firefighter is going to be putting a flag on my grave and showing respect," added Lucas.
Although for some, these flags may be easy to overlook, these firefighters plan to continue to place them as a sign of respect, a simple gesture all veterans deserve.