First, his relatives placed a white cross and a U.S. flag in front of Navy veteran George J. Harmer's grave. But Kayla Rojas, 6, felt something more was needed for her great uncle.
The grave marker needed flowers. So Kayla drew some on the back of a note that her father, Steven, placed there.
The note read: "Of course we honor and remember you."
The Rojas family was among nearly 350 people who decorated Fullerton's Loma Vista Memorial Park with nearly 3,000 crosses and flags Saturday in preparation for a Memorial Day service Monday morning.
Volunteers, including Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, went by a map showing veterans' plots. Jewish veterans were honored with the Star of David.
The cemetery has been paying tribute to U.S. veterans for more than 60 years. The mausoleums hold relics of Orange County's military history, with several tombs of Civil War veterans. The annual ceremony is sponsored by the American Veterans Memorial Assn.
This year's ceremony will be dedicated to nurses who risked their lives in the armed forces, said cemetery Vice President Sharon Adams. William T. Bester, assistant surgeon general and chief of the Army Nurse Corps, will be a guest.
More volunteers than usual came out Saturday, which organizers attribute to the wave of patriotism sparked by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Likewise, they anticipate a bigger turnout for Monday's ceremony.
The Rojas family, of Fullerton, knew little about Harmer's role in World War II but wanted to honor him.
"He was proud of having served his country," Steven Rojas said, holding a video camera to record his family's visit.