SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Memorial Day is just two days away.

It's a day where people honor the military personnel who had died while serving our country.

A man Western Mass News spoke with is upset that flags were not placed at every fallen veteran's cemetery site in Springfield for the honorary day.

While the veteran services said - they did not have enough volunteers to make it to all 20,000 gravesites this year.

Ray Gossman, a Vietnam veteran, expressed his disappointment that flags have not been put at the gravesites of past service members in Springfield.

"It's the first time in all my years, I am 72-years-old and it's the first time in my lifetime I have ever heard of them not putting flags on the gravestones. I think it is a disgrace," Gossman explained.

Gossman spent four years in the service and he said Memorial Day is a day - that no matter what - we honor those who have sacrificed so much.

"I was on the USS Forrestal. It was an aircraft carrier in 1967 [and] I was off the coast of Vietnam. We had a fire and we lost 134 young men and I spent most of the day putting these guys in body bags and carrying them to a Hangar Bay," Gossman said.

Western Mass News reached out to the Director of the Veteran Services in Springfield, Thomas Belton.

He told Western Mass News because of the coronavirus pandemic they were not able to drum up enough volunteers to place a flag at 20,000 gravesites in the city.

"In the past - when the schools were in - we had the junior ROTCS. Several schools would come out and help flag some of the graves and that helped. Also, along with our volunteers, but in light of the conditions this year we didn't get a response back from a lot of people that we reached out to," Belton explained.

He said the veteran services are disappointed that they weren't able to place the countries flag at each grave this year, but the city was able to honor the veterans in another way.

"[At] city own veteran cemeteries, we placed a wreath in all of those for veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice," Belton said.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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