Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Daniel Heffner
Lynchburg, VA - Organizers held their annual Memorial Day Observance to honor our veterans at Monument Terrace in Lynchburg Monday.
To date, 285 locals from Lynchburg and the surrounding areas have been killed in wars from World War I to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It was a time to honor all our men and women, especially the ones no longer with us.
"World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and everybody in between and Iraqi vets," veteran Steve Bozeman said.
For many of these vets, this is one service they say they never pass up.
"13 years," American Legion's Robert Cardwell said.
"I've been coming here every since I got out of the military and that was since 1967," Slick Reeves said.
Reeves is a Vietnam veteran who says he would not miss this for the world.
"That's the least I can do, is come here and do respect for them," Reeves said. "A lot of people here think they are heroes, but your real heroes are those who didn't come back."
"When we look at all the lives that have been lost, it is immeasurable how much I appreciate it," Cardwell said.
The sweltering heat could not keep the hundreds who showed up away. They all came to pay their respects, hear from guest speaker Korean and Vietnam vet Don Mustard, and say, 'Thank you' for the freedoms which we as a community bear thanks to the sacrifice of several men and women.
"It makes you feel good. You see all the veterans, all the people in war in all that, it makes you feel so good seeing them all down here," said Korean War Veteran Maurice Millner. "It almost makes you cry, how all these men are doing now."
"Our troops are well trained, they know what to do, and that's a big thing," veteran Kermit Ford said.
Monday's ceremony was very emotional. Several speakers found themselves choking up a bit when speaking about loved ones. Those who attended were also invited to bring a picture of their veteran to display during the ceremony. Many of the veterans in attendance wore their uniforms and military caps to distinguish which branch they served.