Dozens remember fallen soldiers at Andersonville National Cemetery

Dozens remember fallen soldiers at Andersonville National Cemetery

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Thousands of American flags lined the grave sites veterans buried in Andersonville National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

Dozens of people traveled from around the country to pay their respects to nearly 20,000 troops buried at Andersonville National Cemetery.

Kathy Keen from Hawkinsville used Monday's  trip as a teaching lesson for her two children.

"I wanted to show my kids actually what today is really about not just a holiday," said Kathy Keen.

Behind each American Flag lies a headstone with a story of bravery in the fight for freedom. This is just one of several trips Robert Gurd from Warner Robbins has made to Andersonville.

" I have some people who I know are buried here. I wanted to pay respects to them and also others that I don't know who certainly provided a great service to their nation,” said Robert Gurd.

No matter how far the trip, both the young and the old felt compelled to pay their respects, including 90-year-old Thomas Wallace who traveled from Maryland.

"We wanted to see the area where Clara Barton designated the Civil War dead for," said Thomas Wallace.

For the Keen family, they came across an unexpected discovery.

" We found three gravesites on my husband's side of the family and they were Yankees," said Kathy Keen.

" I was surprised. I didn't know there was any out here at all. Just to find some was surprising," said Toby Keen.

And while others commemorate the holiday in a different way these families haven't forgotten the true meaning of today.

" Sometimes we forget that when we have barbecues, cookouts and gatherings and things like that. This at its base is real heart of the holiday and we need to pay respects to that," said Robert Gurd.

"We are aware of the fact and appreciative of the fact they made the sacrifice." said Thomas Wallace.

Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.