Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century.
While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Memorial Day in Washington. A parade honoring the more than 1 million American men and women who’ve given their lives serving in the military.
“It’s awesome. It’s really exciting. It’s really lively," said Sofia Aman, of Saskatchewan, Canada. "It’s nice to see everybody’s national pride and to remember the veterans.”
“It’s a great day to just show respect for all the soldiers that risk their lives for us on a daily basis,” said Brittany Porter of Washington, D.C.
The crowd of thousands watched as the patriotic display marched along Constitution Avenue.
“I appreciate the freedom that we have in America, and I think that we owe it all to our veterans that have gone before,” said Caroline Kiggins of Alexandria, Virginia.
Rachel Steiner of Fairfax, Virginia, said, "I come from a military family, so it means so much to be here just to honor my parents; honor my grandfathers, uncles and aunts who all served in the military. It’s very meaningful for me.”
“It’s quite an honor here, because as Korean veteran, a lot of people come up and shake hands. It’s great,” said Norb Zahler, a Korean War veteran from Minneapolis Wisconsin.
Others, who had lost friends or family in combat, came to honor the memories of those killed in the line of duty.
“It means a lot to me. I lost a father in Afghanistan back in 2006, so Memorial Day means a lot to me, and it means a lot to others who have lost loved ones overseas, as well,” said Benjamin Supalee, from York, Pennsylvania.
“It means a lot. I remember a lot of my friends that weren’t able - did not come home," said Bob Ryan a Vietnam War veteran from Illinois. "It’s a special day to remember. Remember those that serve and remember those that were unable to serve.”
“I love it. It makes me cry. It really does. It’s very emotional,” said Bob Hornbaker, a Navy veteran from Virginia.
Memorial Day is about fallen veterans - men and women who’ve given their lives in combat. And every year, if only for a day, a nation remembers those who’ve sacrificed everything in the name of the United States.