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Volunteers lay roses to honor fallen troops at Arlington National Cemetery

(ABC7)

Arlington National Cemetery draws large crowds on Memorial Day Weekend as people stop in to pay tribute to the lives lost.

On Sunday, hundreds of volunteers from across the country expressed their patriotism and showed the deeper meaning of Memorial Day. One by one the volunteers read aloud the names of the fallen, and then a single rose was placed in front of their grave.

"It's amazing to see how many people out here actually came out to volunteer to celebrate the lives of those who helped fight for our rights," said Morgan Nobbe, whose boyfriend is in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Nobbe was one of more than 600 volunteers who braved the rain Sunday afternoon to honor our fallen troops and decorate their headstones with a fresh flower.

"It's a simple gesture of a rose to give it to someone you don't even know that sacrificed their lives to defend our country," said Johan Sohn, of Sole Farms in Miami, Florida.

The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation is decorating the grounds at Arlington and 18 other cemeteries. The flowers are shipped in from Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia and California, and they're distributed by volunteers like Jeree Devisser and his young family.

"A tremendous respect and honor for people who serve selflessly for people like us that they didn't even know," said Devisser, who is from Dallas, Texas.

And for Marlene Zachman, it can get emotional.

"We're thankful for what they've done and their families and sacraficing for us and our nation. They not only protect us they protect the world," Zachman said.

The sign of appreciation started in 2011 and it has grown. This year, 160,000 roses are being placed in front of the graves, and next year organizers hope to cover all of Arlington National Cemetery.

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