Web Exclusive: Touching flag tribute on Memorial Day

Web Exclusive

(CNN/WCVB) - A Massachusetts man is covering his mother's front lawn with 124 flags.  They are there to honor the men and women from his state who died while wearing the uniform. It's a tradition he started in 2007, but he's saddened by the growing number of flags.

For Robert Gramazio, this is about respect and honor.  "I kind of get to know their pictures every year, I don't know, like I'm talking to them," says Robert Gramazio.

For seven years now, he's lined his mother's Summit street front lawn in Rockland with one flag for every Massachusetts soldier or marine killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Never forget buddy, that's what it's all about," says Gramazio.

He's run out of real estate. His neighbors were generous enough to let Robert borrow their front lawn.

"You see names in the paper, that's nothing.  You see the pictures, I think that wakes everybody up," says Gramazio.

Robert's mission began when Billy Callaghan died in 2007. He was his friend's son.

"And then after he died, I did everyone," says Gramazio.

Nobody appreciated more what Robert did than his own mother.  "I don't know, I think my mother kind of thought it was nice that people couldn't go to Arlington they could come by and see their kid's picture here," says Gramazio.

She's among her heroes now.  Dorothy gramazio died a few months ago.

"She made me promise to set it up on her dying bed," says Gramazio.

It's a promise he intends to keep.

"I hope no one else forgets, you know.  It's kind of sad it's just one day a year.  But at least everybody remembers one day," says Gramazio.


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