"When this whole cemetery is draped with beautiful flags, that's wonderful," Brockman Turner said.

"(This is a) patriotic event that you're selflessly giving your time to a family member, and it may not have been your family member," she said.

The flags, which are re-used every year, are placed at various checkpoints throughout the cemetery. At the appropriate time, the boys simultaneously placed them throughout the 72-acre property using the same method for each gravestone.

"We usually put our foot against the gravestone and place it at our heel," said Walter Myers, a 74-year-old who has been involved with the Scouts in some fashion for almost his entire life.

Members of the Arrowhead/National Pike Districts, which include troops with Scouts from Catonsville and Arbutus, also placed flags at Loudon Park Cemetery the day before and at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery on May 25.

Steven Goldberg was doing volunteer public relations work with the Boy Scouts 26 years ago when the idea for the flag ceremony came to be.

"The National Cemetery called and asked if we would do a service project putting flags at all the gravestones," said Goldberg, a Perry Hall resident. "I said absolutely we would."

After the ceremony, everyone in the gathered at the main flagpole and stone wall that overlooks most of the property.

A color guard marched in the colors, Meyers and 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk — who said his grandfather is buried at the veterans' cemetery — spoke to the crowd and current and former service members were honored.

The ceremony ended with the slow, solemn playing of Taps and a salute to the colors as they were marched out.

"We remember veterans because that's the point of Memorial Day," Mills said