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People place flags on veteran's graves at East TN cemeteries ahead of Veteran's Day

Hundreds of people showed up at the John Sevier Highway State Cemetery Saturday morning to pay respects to veterans.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Saturday morning, hundreds of people woke up early to show up at East Tennessee cemeteries and pay respects to veterans. They placed flags on their graves ahead of Veterans' Day on Thursday.

Laying flags is an annual tradition for some people, but others said it was their first time. They gathered at cemeteries on John Sevier Highway and Lyons View Pike for the event.

"It's just nice to give a little back," said Brian Hamling, a retired Commander with the U.S. Navy. "We have a lot of kids that have never done this before. They're experiencing it for the first time and I think they are enjoying it, from what I've heard. They appreciate what's going on, I think they understand what it's about. We have a lot of kids that have done this for their second third and fourth years. They did it the first time and loved it ever since."

Veterans Day is Nov. 11 and Knoxville is planning a parade to celebrate. It starts at 10:40 a.m. and will run through most of the downtown area.