Hampton, Va. - One by one, at least 28,000 American flags need to be plucked from the ground at Hampton National Cemetery after being placed there for Memorial Day to honor fallen service members.
"They have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. That is what they have provided for this country, this nation, all the freedoms we cherish," says cemetery director Janice Hill.
On the Friday before the holiday, 100 volunteers helped put down the flags, but on Tuesday morning, only a handful showed up to take them out.
"It will take a while. It's all a matter of manpower. We had well over 100 placing them in and we have much lower numbers now. The good news is it will continue until the job's done," says Hampton Military Affairs Committee Chairman John Gately.
NewsChannel 3 took action to add to the handful of volunteers. Reporter Gabriella DeLuca put on a pair of gloves and spent the morning helping the volunteers, going grave by grave and flag by flag.
"These things don't just happen. We need willing volunteers," Gately says.
Volunteers say they'll be out until the last flag is picked up -- a small price to pay for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.