Families, veterans honor those who died for our freedom - WNEM TV 5

Families, veterans honor those who died for our freedom

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People across the state are honoring those who died for our freedom. 

Debbie Clair struggles to put into words how proud she was of her father but she knows he was a Marine and proud of it.

“See? I can’t talk. What do they say? Once a Marine, always a Marine,” Clair said.

Her father is buried in a sea of marble at Great Lakes National Cemetery.

Clair and her husband came to the site to say thank you and remember all he stood for.

“As soon as I pulled in I started crying. It just takes your breath away,” Clair said.

The Clair's weren't the only ones mourning the loss and celebrating the life of their loved ones. Sandra Johnson lost her military father just six months ago.

“So this is where he is and we really wanted to visit him and also be here for those, I mean, he did make it home but there was so many who didn't,” Johnson said.

It was those who gave the ultimate sacrifice who were honored this weekend.

Thousands said a silent prayer at the 11th annual Memorial Day ceremony for those heroes and their families.

“It's like a big family of people you don't even know,” Linda McMahon said.

It wasn't all families visiting. Many veterans paid respects to those friends they lost and those they served with who are buried at the cemetery.

“It's awesome. It's like they will never be forgotten and one day I'll be here,” Mike McMahon said.

McMahon is a Vietnam war veteran who says he's encouraged to see so many families bring their young children to the event.

“It's nice to know that other people are remembering the veterans that have come and gone and not taking for granted their freedom,” McMahon said.

For Clair, even though it's hard for her to think her father is gone she's proud she's able to remember him in this way.

“It just makes you cry. Makes you miss him more. But I'm so happy this is where he is. This is where he wanted to be,” she said.

The cemetery hosts this event every year.

You can also go Monday to pay respects anytime from sunrise to sunset.  

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