Monday morning, a crowd gathered at Roselawn Cemetery in Decatur to honor men and women who have died serving our country in the military.
In the crowd were several Gold Star and Blue Star families, whose loved ones came back home injured or didn’t come back at all.
The National Anthem set the mood for the ceremony, sung by Sgt. Donna Johnson.
Dozens of people braved the heat to hear speakers thank veterans past and present, and their families, for their sacrifices that secure the freedoms all Americans enjoy.
“No one is looking over us with a rifle, threatening us. None of us are in prison for professing love of god and country,” said Carl Flemons, a veteran who watched the ceremony from his wheelchair. “It’s a privilege to be here.”
Then family members whose loved ones were injured or killed serving the country laid wreaths at the Veterans Memorial.
Perhaps the most poignant moment of today’s ceremony was when a 4-year-old girl paid tribute to her father, who she never knew.
Kylee Little held her mother’s hand during the long walk and gesture to honor those who never came home from war, including her father, Kyle Little.
“I was three months pregnant with her [Kylee], when he was killed in action in May 2007,” said Tiffany Little, a Gold Star mother.
Kylee Little was named for her father, a man her mother says left behind a legacy.
“He lived, he didn’t just die, but he lived,” Tiffany Little said of her husband.
The sound of Taps brought the ceremony to a close for those who are lost, but never forgotten.