Rockland man honors fallen soldiers with memorial - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Rockland man honors fallen soldiers with memorial

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ROCKLAND, Mass. (WHDH) -

A Rockland family is marking Memorial Day with an annual tradition that has even more meaning this year.

Seven years ago when a friend’s son was killed serving in Iraq Robert Gramazio started placing flags in his front yard in honor of the all fallen members of the armed forces from Massachusetts.

When Gramazio started the yearly memorial there were only 23 flags in his front yard representing the 23 deaths of Massachusetts armed forces members killed in Iraq, since then he’s added a new section for those who were killed in Afghanistan.

Gramazio used to do the memorial with his mother because his father and brother both served.

“This was very important to my mom every year to have this. When she passed away she made him promise he would do it this year and he did,” Gramazio’s sister Dot Doherty said.

It was her deathbed wish, Gramazio said, that he continue the tradition.

"She made sure that I do it, on her dying bed ‘make sure you put those flags up,’" he said.

Robert’s brother Peter served for more than 15 years.

"I can't say enough about it/ I've served in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea I've seen the fallen and to pay this homage to them is absolutely beautiful,” Peter Gramazio said.

Robert's family says even with all the attention he's getting he wants the focus to be on those who lost their life.

"He's very humble shy and he doesn't want recognition it's not about what he does but what they do for us,” Doherty said.

Gramazio said he plans to keep the memorial up until mid-June.

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