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Man honors fallen hometown heroes

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ROCKLAND, MA (WKOW) -- A Massachusetts man is covering his mother's front lawn with 124 flags. They're there to honor the men and women from his state who died while wearing the uniform.

Robert Gramazio started the tradition with just one flag in 2007. Billy Callaghan, a friend's son, was killed in the line of duty, so Gramazio out up a single flag in the front yard to show his respects. Now, seven years later, the lawn is covered with one flag and a photo of every Massachusetts soldier or Marine killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"You see the names in the paper, that's nothing," Gramazio says. "You see the pictures, I think that wakes everybody up."

He quickly ran out of real estate, but his neighbors were generous enough to let him borrow their front lawn, too. Gramazio says nobody appreciated the tribute more than his own mother. She passed away earlier this year, but has been laid to rest among her heroes.

"She made me promise to set it up on her dying bed," Gramazio remembers. "I hope no one else forgets. It's kind of sad it's just one day a year, but at least everybody remembers one day."

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