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(WBIR) All across America on Monday people will commemorate Veterans Day to honor the men and women who fought to protect our country. But first this weekend, some East Tennessee residents celebrated the lives of those Veterans who are no longer with us.

Volunteers placed thousands of American Flags on the graves at both Veterans Cemeteries in Knoxville. In total, more than 5,000 flags were placed to honor the memories of fallen Veterans.

The man who started the tradition, Rick Phillips, is a Veteran himself and said it's an honor to place the flags.

"This cemetery opened September 1990, and my father was the twenty-third veteran buried here. So in his honor, me and 6 other gentlemen bought 60 flags and came out here and put 60 flags out. And it's just blossomed into what you see today," Phillips said.

He also said the flags help ensure that the sacrifices made by Veterans don't go unnoticed.