Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have fallen while serving in the military. Families with members who have served or are currently serving can be proud of their service. It is heartwarming to know that millions of people from all across the country visit graves, offer flowers and balloons, and attend parades and events to show support for our veterans on this special holiday.

Mason Lee, a 7-year-old kid, has an immediate link to one of these soldiers’ graves because he lives near the cemetery. This is also why a young boy with his family always goes to the Wilmington National Cemetary and plants American flags on the graves of fallen soldiers. Mason Lee, however, has an instantaneous bond with one of these soldiers’ graves.

The memorial stone for Sergeant TJ Butler is located in the cemetery’s little graveyard.

Mason’s mother, Sarah, mentioned that the youngster wanted to know more about the person. During an interview with WECT News, Mason’s mother revealed that he had a lot of queries regarding the soldier. She stated, “He wanted to know if he had a son and a family, and wanted to know more about him. It was really touching because you could tell he was really soaking it all in. That this was somebody’s son, somebody’s daddy.”

The next year, they returned to the cemetery and put flags on the graves once more. Mason drew a picture of an American flag and a shield for Butler–he wanted to visit Sgt. Butler’s grave again so he placed it in a plastic bag at the soldiers’ gravesite. According to Mason, he did all this because Butler “was a hero.”

“It must have made a huge impact on him to be that young and remember something like that,” Sarah stated.

Leslie visits her son’s grave often. So, when she found out that Mason had paid tribute to him, she wanted to thank him and meet him in person. Leslie’s son passed away in 2012 from a suicide bomber while he was serving in Afghanistan. Leslie says that meeting Mason has helped bring her some closure.

It was finally time for Leslie and Mason to meet face-to-face!

Leslie chose a Captain America toy for the little boy, something she was confident he would love. She also mentioned that TJ had always been socially active and his teachers referred to him as a social butterfly. She continued, “So I’m thinking he still is a social butterfly. For Mason’s age, I thought it was very special that he came down and visited TJ.”

Leslie was pleased to hear that Mason intended to leave a flag on the soldier’s grave on his next visit, and she wanted to remind him about it. She added that as long as Mason is there, he may plant his flag on her son’s gravesite, and she can be satisfied knowing that Mason will give her kid his flag.

Sadly, he passed away at a young age, but TJ was very proud to be in the Army, she told WECT.

It’s natural for kids to be interested in soldiers, but it’s quite extraordinary when they discover within themselves the desire to pay homage to those who fought so valiantly for our nation. We wish that, like Mason, we may find time throughout Memorial Day Weekend to go and pay respects at these fallen veterans’ gravesites.