Tylerites Gather To Remember America's Brave

In Tyler, hundreds of veterans and families paid tribute to fallen soldiers Monday morning.

Adorning of the wreath ceremonies and a 21-gun salute were held at Memorial Park Cemetery. The ceremony escalated as a procession of veterans, dating back to World War II, marched through the crowd to the sound of taps.

Not even a downpour of rain could chase supporters away.

"It's been my position to be on both sides of this situation," said Rev. and Marine Corps. Mike Ford. "Once I was the son going away, and my Dad was telling me goodbye. This time, my son went away and I was telling him goodbye. It's much easier leaving and going to combat, than being a parent and staying behind."

Ford and his wife, Sonya, expect their son Jason Hitt home this week. Jason, a marine corporal like his father, took part in the marine invasion of Tikrit.

Ford served as one of the guest speakers, along with Smith County Judge Becky Dempsey and U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall from Tyler. Sheriff J.B. Smith was also in attendance.

   Kerri Panchuk, reporting.