Mountain Home National Cemetery honoring fallen service members on Memorial Day
Throughout U.S. history, 40 million Americans have served in our military. More than one million of them have died doing so.
Monday, Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City honored those who gave their lives while serving.
News 5's Jessica Griffith show us why so many veterans were touched by this annual ceremony.
There are about 17,000 fallen service members buried at Mountain Home National Cemetery. On Memorial Day, people wanted to come out to honor them as well as the others around the country who have given the ultimate sacrifice
"It's s just a great day to be an American," Edwin Remine said.
"They feel the love. They feel that their service member died for a reason, to keep us all free," cemetery director Jeny Walker said. "It gets you a little teary eyed sometimes when they play some of the music there," Remine said. People of all ages, waving American flags. Veterans, standing proud, honoring their time serving our country.
"Every day should be veteran day and memorial day in this country. and there isn't a day that goes by I don't think of that," Remine said, who served in the Vietnam War. He said days like memorial day are very personal to him. "Some of them didn't make it. They're in a better place today and they made the sacrifice. I was one of the fortunate ones to make it back and live and tell about it," he said. Colonel Michael Johnson, former Chief of Staff for U.S. Armed Forces in south Afghanistan was the keynote speaker.
"The full sacrifice. The last full measure of devotion that someone would give for their country truly is worthy and needed and a blessing we have people like that," he said. He wants veteran's dedication and service to always be remembered.
"Anytime you have served in a combat zone you are around those that have been wounded, those wounds you can see and those you can't see. And you've been around those who have lost their lives in combat and all that together is a burden," he said.
All here hopeful people don't forget our veterans are the reason we have our freedom. "Just for them to know that they're never forgotten. They are apart of our lives and we all need to appreciate them," Walker said.
According to the Memorial Day website, the first documentation of a memorial day was in 1868, remembering the fallen of the Civil War.