Nightly News | May 26, 2012
>>> as we honor america's war dead this weekend, another grim milestone was reached in afghanistan. a 26-year-old sailor became the 3,000th to die there. but thanks to the folks of a town in idaho, neither he nor his fallen comrades will be forgotten. mike taibbi now with a truly unique memorial day tribute.
>> reporter: such a simple idea. what was your motivation in '03? a war vet remembers how someone greeted him when he came home.
>> stopped and holds up arms like this and says, hey, you bibby burr.
>> reporter: so, he vowed that nose fighting in iraq and afghanistan would be seen and remembered differently. this is the field of heroes. a high school soccer field that once a year, puts the whole town pitching in, becomes a patch of hallowed ground in the rock can . the crosses made by korean war vet and the name, rank, unit and casualty date of each service member on labels donated by local sign maker, dennis.
>> it's not just a name on a cross. it's a, it's a soldier. it's a family member.
>> reporter: and it's who those soldiers are, not just that a soldier has died. like sergeant blake stevens, killed in iraq and buried in his hometown.
>> this is blake country.
>> reporter: his mother, kathleen, thankful that anyone who wants to learn the story behind his cross can know what she knows about his passion to serve.
>> he was just born with that sense of one of well being. he really know who he was, but he loved protecting. he loved protecting people.
>> reporter: so did tiffany petty's husband, jarrett. tiffany labeling the crosses of others who services have been overlooked by many.
>> it hurts your heart, your soul. we need to remember them not as a group of people, but as specific people.
>> reporter: so here, throughout the weekend, they're remembered by visitors from all over the west. those who have lost a loved one to war and those who haven't. even dennis, the sign maker, pausing to learn the stories.
>> 21-year-old single mother from illinois that had one small child.
>> reporter: 6,378 heroic stories. each remembered here. mike taibbi , nbc news, idaho.