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Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens Honors Over 700 Fallen Soldiers

“We just do it because it’s the right thing to do to give back to our country and for the people that have served,” said Nancy Bostwick, from Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens.

A family tradition that started over 50 years ago continued this Memorial Day weekend.

Every year, a family pays their respects to fallen soldiers in a special way at the Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens.

9&10’s Whitney Amann has a look at their tradition and what it means to the community.

What started as six flags, is now more than 700 flags that are put up every morning and taken down every night throughout Memorial Day weekend.

“It was very warming, very appreciative inside you just get a really good feeling supporting our troops,” said Nancy.

The Bostwick family started this tradition back in 1960.

“The principle behind this whole thing was these are the flags that were draped on their coffins and to commemorate these soldiers every year. To show respect is pretty awesome I mean they date back to World War I all the way up through to the present war,” said Mike Wheaton, who has served active duty, the National Guard and Reserve.

Every fallen soldier in Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens has a flag with their name on it and several people, from loved ones to active duty, spent their weekend showing their respect.

“To me it shows the pride that we have in our country and the respect we have for the fallen soldiers that are here,” said Mike.

“From young ones that in the cub scouts to people that have served in World War II, Korean War, you do get a lot of support from them and appreciation of what we’ve done but we also like to thank them for what they’ve done for our country,” said Nancy.

Ada Winnie’s husband of 59 years, served in the Korean War. He passed away last March and she has spent every day at Memorial Gardens, but this weekend was different.

“It’s something I look forward, it makes me happy,” said Ada. “I think it’s just beautiful, that’s how I express it, and it’s just beautiful.”

“It takes some time but it’s worth it, every second of it,” said Mike.