BOURNE (CBS) — People from all ages spent part of the day Saturday at the Massachusetts National Veterans Cemetery in Bourne, placing American flags next to those who served their country and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“What it’s showing is respect for those who went before us,” says Jay Cook of Defenders of Liberty MC.

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Organizer Paul Monti started this solemn endeavor six years ago. In 2006, he lost his 30-year-old son Jared while he was trying to save another wounded soldier in Afghanistan.

“He gave and gave and gave and in the end, he gave his own life,” Paul Monti says.

More than 4,000 volunteers placed 66,000 flags at the cemetery. Paul Monti said this is a dream come true.

“It’s very solemn. It’s me and him. Then, I tell him ‘I am going to give you the first one, but then I have 66,000 others for your buddies.’ He loved his fellow soldiers,” he said.

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Paul Monti told the crowd of volunteers, “All those that visit these hallowed grounds must understand in their minds, in their hearts and in their souls that freedom is not free.”

One woman who volunteered told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe she felt compelled to help.

“It’s my patriotic duty,” she told WBZ. “What would we have if we didn’t have all these people who served, died and did their part for America?”

Decorated Vietnam War veteran Glen Beasley brings his family every year.

“I sit here and thank God it wasn’t me. None of these people wanted to die just to do their job, so we are honoring them,” he said.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

Paul Burton