Memorial Day Service at Historic Huntsville Cemetery Draws Hundreds

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Hundreds showed up on the hallowed grounds of Huntsville's historic Maple Hill Cemetery Monday morning. Community, military and civic leaders joined veterans and even the youngest of patriots to recognize the ultimate sacrifices made by our service members.

Mayor Tommy Battle reminded the crowd that people in our area keep the memory of those fallen in our hearts all year round, not just on the national day of memorial and remembrance.

"Huntsville is not a community that honors those who have fought for us one day out of the year," said Battle. "We do it day by day, week by week, celebration by celebration, memorial by memorial."

Among the dozens who just showed up out of respect, Lieutenant General retired Frank Libutti who candidly shared some of his graphic memories of comrades lost of the tropical battle fields of Vietnam.

"I remember Corporal Stuckey who had his hand shot off and stayed by his machine gun all night repelling wave after wave of enemy assaults."

One of the most significant parts of the event is the wreath laying ceremony. 26 local veterans and fraternal groups laid wreaths on graves at Maple Hill including one grave selected by members of the Gold Star Families, the organization that represents the families of those who died while in service. This year's Gold Star memorial is for Alabama Army National Guard Capt. Waid "Chip" Ramsey, a Hampton Cove resident who was killed Aug. 4, 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.