Every Memorial Day for the past 20 years, Mary Reitz of Silvis, pays a visit to the Rock Island National Cemetery. With a hand full of flowers, she walks the 66 acre burial grounds, dropping flowers on the tombs of the unknown soldiers.
“It was about 20 years ago when I was walking around the cemetery and noticed there were flowers on some of the graves, but there weren’t any on the graves of the unknown soldiers,” Mary said, holding a fresh picked bouquet of flowers from her garden.
From that point forward, she began to plant her own flowers to give to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“Thank you for your service,” Mary said, as she drops pedals in front of every unknown grave.
At first glance, Mary has a smile that could light up a dungeon. She walks with an extra pep in her step, her head held high as she pays respect to the soldiers.
“I just love flowers,” Mary shouted out, while sniffing the flowers in her hand. While Mary loves her flowers, her love for America’s greatest heroes shines brighter through her actions.
“I’m going to do this as long as I physically can.”