World War II vet places flags on gravesites of fallen servicemen - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

World War II vet places flags on gravesites of fallen servicemen

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A World War II veteran from Grundy County is honoring those who have served as he places an American flag at each of their gravesites.

It's a tradition for 91-year-old, Thomas Rollins to visit the Altamont Cemetery each Memorial Day weekend.

An American flag sits at more than 60 gravesites at the Altamont Cemetery. It's to remember the service and sacrifices of those who fought for our country.

"That's where all of our freedom comes from and the privileges that we have today. To live in a free country was earned by the people who sacrificed," said Rollins.

Rollins wears his uniform on special occasions, it's close to what his original World War II uniform looked like. Rollins was part of the 28th infantry division in the US Army and was stationed overseas. He says this gesture is to honor those who have served and their families.

"They're the ones that lost their loved ones was the real heroes of World War II. The rest of us that got to come back we're just servants. Them and their families are the heroes. They're the ones that paid the big price," said Rollins.

Rollins would later return home to Grundy County. A fellow serviceman, Kermit Fults came up with this idea decades ago. Fults died in 1998 and since that time, Rollins has continued what he started.

He visits him and other military members here at least once a year so that he can pay his respects.

It's an honor to do that and the people, they really appreciate it," said Rollins.

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