Mid-South family shares Memorial Day memories

No barbecues, parades or parties.

Memorial Day has changed for Rob Hopper...after losing his son...Lance Corporal Brian Hopper.

Hopper says, "Just a quiet day."

Brian joined the Marines, then his brother joined.

So Hopper put up these flags.

"First time I ever cried 'cause I was so happy the day he graduated Marine Corp Boot Camp. I just didn't think he had it in him, but he sure proved me wrong," continues Hopper.

The tears are different now.

A memorial rests under one flag.

Hopper continues, "We just set up a memorial here in the front yard under his Marine Corp flag for him and just talk about Brian. Things he did. Miss him.">

Hopper wears a memorial on the arm closest to his heart.

He says just becoming a marine was no easy task for his son.

"Brian grew up all his life with asthma, blew his knee out in high school," Hopper continues.

Hopper placed 21 flags by his son's grave site. He says his pride helps to outweigh the pain.

Hopper says, "The pride of him joining the U.S. Marines because of 9/11. Him going to fight in the war."

Now he wants the rest of Arkansas to feel the same pride.

Hopper's raising money to help get the state to build a public memorial for the fallen.

"Something needs to be done for these guys and not just one. For 'em all," continues Hopper.

But on this Memorial Day his front yard will have to do, as he struggles through his greatest challenge.

"Just wish you'd get one more phone call. Knowing it's not gon' come," says Hopper.

Next week, Hopper's other son, Patrick, returns from Camp Pendleton, California. Hopper says he's counting the days.