LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS 11)--If you were at Louisville’s waterfront for the July 4 celebration or if you happened to drive by on I-64, you may have noticed thousands of American flags planted on the Great Lawn.
Those flags were part of a memorial to honor veterans and they were hand-planted by volunteers.
On Wednesday morning, the cleanup began with many of those same volunteers picking up the 8,000 flags.
“It was amazing, so many people came along to put flags out,” said Freed Moore, Director of Flags4Vets.
The flags were planted by Moore’s organization, Flags4Vets, which flags veterans’ graves and sets up memorials on holidays. This Independence Day was the first time Moore planted the flags for the July 4 holiday.
“So many people shed tears out here because these flags represent individuals,” said Moore.
With 8,000 flags, it was a huge job both to build and remove the memorial.
“That's just as important and part of the honor as is putting the flags in the ground,” said Moore.
Volunteers showed up bright and early to the waterfront to help remove the flags on Wednesday, many with a personal connection to the mission.
“Both my father and my brother were veterans, I was not so I figured this was my way of helping,” said volunteer John Soloski.
Some volunteers brought their kids, calling the work a chance to help the cause and teach a valuable lesson.
“To just be able to help out with the community, to volunteer, to teach them how to volunteer,” said Maryann Adkins who helped pull flags with her children.
The volunteers removed the flags in bundles of ten and then laid them out to dry before putting them in bins to be stored for the next event.
“We put flags out for Veterans Day in November, Memorial Day in late May...” said Moore.
Moore served as a Medical Corpsman with the United States Marine Corps from 1968 to 1974.
He says he hopes his flag garden becomes part of the Louisville waterfront's annual Independence Day celebration so he can continue to honor his brothers and sisters.
“I'm a medic and this is about taking care of my troops,” said Moore.
Moore says representatives from the Waterfront thanked him for his work and asked if he would be interested in flagging the Great Lawn more often.