Memorial ceremonies all over the world recognize veterans who have given up their lives for their country.
ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how veterans paid tribute to the fallen.
Memorial Day is a time to remember the soldiers who died for our freedom.
Knights of Columbus Member Kenneth Taffi says, “It’s an honor to honor these veterans today, myself am a veteran. I’m retired after 31 years of government service. I am also a high school drop out of the 11th grade. If I hadn’t been for the United States Navy taking a chance on a high school dropout, I probably would not be here today.”
Families placed flags on over 7800 graves at the Alexandria National Cemetery.
Mayor of Pineville Rich Dupree says, “We know that the flag doesn’t blow because of the wind that you see or feel, but you see those flags move because of the last breath that was given by those that we remember today.”
Veterans of Foreign War Senior Vice Commander Samuel Williams says, “You have a lot of military and family coming in and it’s just a blessing to have all of us together that we will be able to talk and communicate with each other, share our stories. It’s an honor to give to the soldiers that passed away. I think it’s a blessing.”
Army Veteran Derrick Johnson says, “On April 2004 is when my unit was activated to go to Iraq. Young and leaving behind my one-year-old son, leaving to go fight for my country. Although we were in a hostile environment, me and my comrades bonded together and forged friendships that lasted a lifetime. Our company was fortunate enough that all of us returned even though there were plenty of close encounters. I can’t say the same about the many of the battalions that left with us. They lost many good men and women.”
Community and military leaders place a wreath near the graves to remember them.
Taffi says, “It’s an honor to serve our country. Myself, I also have my plot in a national cemetery like this north of Baton Rouge because I wanted to be buried around my brothers and sisters that I kinda formed myself with being in the military.”
Americans can visit the graves and pay homage to those who gave all to their country.
The Alexandria VA asks the public to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made for their freedom.