Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Smaller display, same big impact at state capitol on Memorial Day

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BATON ROUGE – Hundreds of American flags have been purposefully placed in front of the state capitol to honor Louisianians who lost their lives in battle. It's been a Memorial Day tradition for the last six years. But this year’s display had to be scaled down.

"We just felt like even with the current situation with the coronavirus, we still had to do something to pay our respect,” said Rhona Hotard, with the Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana, Chapter 1.

Every year, the nonprofit, along with a large group of volunteers, place the flags on the steps of the capitol. Normally, 11,000 flags are set up. But with social distancing encouraged this year, 300 flags were placed to honor the fallen from 9/11 to now.

“Even though it’s a smaller token of what we're remembering, I hope that people will still come out and realize that there is a greater sacrifice,” Hotard said.

Last week, while putting all of the flags out, the Blue Star Mothers read the names that each one represents.

“A lot of these families come out to the events we have, and they say their loved ones, their kids, no one ever says their name except for the times when we hold these types of events. So it's just important that we let them know that we won't forget and we'll be there always to support them,” Hotard said.

The flags will stay on display through Saturday.


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