Flags decorate Spring Grove Cemetery. (FOX19 Lisa Hutson)
Donald 'Scotty' Morrison's photo at Spring Grove Cemetery. (FOX19 Lisa Hutson)
A flag flies high at Spring Grove Cemetery. (FOX19 Lisa Hutson)
For some, Memorial Day is a personal time of remembrance.
Hundreds of families made the trip to Spring Grove Cemetery to remember the ones they've loved and lost. It is the final resting place for more than 5,000 Tri-State veterans who served in conflicts from the American Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan.
For the ones who loved those veterans the most, Memorial Day is just one of many days they remember that sacrifice.
Out of all ones that loved Donald ‘Scotty' Morrison his mother Sue loved him the most.
"He was a character. He was a character. His nickname is the service was sunshine because of his blonde hair," said Sue as she laid flowers on his grave. "And there comes that dreaded knock on the door and they come anytime. Anytime."
Morrison died September 10th 2010 just a few weeks before he was set to come home in an IED attack in Afghanistan. He was just 23-years-old.
A few rows over, Paul Gore came to pay his respects to his uncle Russell Harris. A Vietnam veteran, Harris passed away a few years ago of kidney failure.
"At times I wish I went to the service," said Gore. "He had a lot of stories. He talked about it a lot, the different things he did."
Across Section 131 of Spring Grove Cemetery, Cathy Merkel came to put flowers on her husband's grave, another Vietnam veteran and retired Cincinnati fireman.
"I put a flag out for every appropriate holiday because that is what Ken did out of respect," said Merkel.
Her friend Ray Hulgin, a Marine Corp veteran, says he encouraged Cathy to make the trip. Though he never knew Ken personally, he knows Ken was the kind of man that served his country proudly and continued to serve his community as a firefighter.
"We ask that they do it and I believe that is why we are one of the most powerful strong countries in the world. Because of our servicemen," said Hulgin.
Still, for these families time doesn't heal all wounds. Sue Morrison says Memorial Day is one of the hardest days along with Mother's Day and Scotty's birthday. It is a constant reminder of son she loved and lost in service to his country.
"I look at his picture everyday when I wake up and every night before I go to bed and I miss him. But he died doing what he wanted to do," said Morrison.
In honor of Memorial Day, Spring Grove is continuing a tradition they have done for some time by collecting worn, tattered or faded American flags from now through the end of June. A group of boy scouts will properly decommission those flags at the Historic Civil War section on June 24th.