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May 30, 2016 07:26 AM EDT

University Of Phoenix Employees Place American Flags To Convey A Special Message Before Memorial Day!

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Memorial Day 2016: US President Barack Obama honours armed forces during weekly address

More than 100 volunteers positioned about 10,000 American flags to decipher an exceptional message that read "salute to sacrifice" at University of Phoenix on Tuesday, May 24.

The 10,000 flag tribute comes just days ahead of Memorial Day, a federal holiday in the U.S. for reminiscing the men and women who laid down their lives for their country while serving in U.S. armed forces.

Several people inaudibly assembled on Tuesday while a color guard from the Marine Corps Station in Phoenix forged ahead through the university campus, according to reports on Fast News US.

The preparation began as early as 5 a.m. as eight servicemen and University of Phoenix staff members planted small American flags on the campus lawn to spell out the aforementioned special message - continuing an eight-year-old tradition.

In a concise ceremony that started about 7 a.m., Garland Williams, academic dean for University of Phoenix College of Security and Criminal Justice, delivered a speech reminding those gathered, the essence of Memorial Day.

Williams, a retired Army colonel noted that Memorial Day at the University of Phoenix means a lot more than just the start of summer. He noted that Memorial Day is the time for remembering those who died for the country.

The university's student body comprises of over 20 percent active duty and veterans military personnel. According to Williams, what originally started as a charity event, gradually evolved into something more of a personal tribute from the University of Phoenix, AZ Central reported.

Each year the volunteers couch a different saying using the flags. Phrases such as "Remember" and "Freedom is Never Free" have been used in past years.

This is done to honor those "who cashed in their life," Williams added.

John Ramirez, dean of operations at the University of Phoenix attributed the school's commitment to the aid of service veterans as well as their families for him being a part of them. A retired Army command sergeant major who has not missed a single ceremony since it started, Ramirez said this is something that makes him happy and proud.

This is quite understandable considering that his grandfather was a soldier, his father was a soldier, he is a soldier himself and so is his son.

Of the 100 volunteers that attended the ceremony, several of them work with military students.

The volunteers assisted with collecting the flags from the lawn on Friday, May 27 and will ensure they are all planted by veterans' graves by Memorial Day.

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