By Heather Abraham

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dozens of students started the Memorial Day weekend by visiting the Allegheny Cemetery Friday morning.

And while the children may not know the names of the men and woman buried there, they do know what these they fought for – placing flags at the grave sites as a way to say thank you.

“We come down here every year to put in the flags,” Izzy Vidra, a seventh grader, said. “They fought for other people’s lives. I think it’s just nice just putting flags around their graves. It’s respect.”

“They all fought for us, so we can have what we have today,” added Alex Snider, another seventh grader. “So we could all be free. To look out and see hundreds of flags everywhere. All you see is red, white and blue.”

The students are all seventh and eighth graders from Saint Raphael’s School in Morningside. Their mission was to honor those who served our country.

“You can’t just forget them. They made the ultimate sacrifice, risking their lives,” said Louis Devito, an eighth grader. “This is the best way we can repay them, in remembrance of them.”

For some students, it’s a reminder of family members who made it off the battlefield alive.

“My pap was in the war, and I was lucky enough that he could come home,” said Devito

Hundreds of volunteers have been making the rounds at Allegheny Cemetery to mark all the gravesites.

Taking the kids out of the classroom to help in that effort, Principal Rob Munz says it was a history lesson.

“These soldiers and these men and women paid the ultimate sacrifice for us,” he said. “And that freedom isn’t always free. To see all the flags they put up. It really hits home.”

There are more than 10,000 veterans buried at Allegheny Cemetery; and come Memorial Day, each gravesite will be marked with an American flag.

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