GEDDES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — More than 3,000 American flags lit up Sunday night’s sky at the New York State Fairgrounds for the annual memorial Watchfire. It is one of Syracuse’s largest traditions, spanning 27 years.
The ritual traces back to veterans who say they used it in war, lighting a fire after a battle so those missing could find their way back to their troops.
Thousands were at the event, watching the fire take off at dusk, thinking back to the ones they love who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“From the minute you park the car and get out up here, you can just feel the pride. To watch this event happen when they sit there and play Taps, it just brings the entire community together and it really gives you the sense of belonging in America, it’s amazing,” Jenny Gentile said.
Beneath the flames are the names of fallen soldiers written by their family members.