East Texans remember the fallen heroes who served our country - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

East Texans remember the fallen heroes who served our country

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Tyler Memorial Park Memorial Day Ceremony (Source: KLTV Staff) Tyler Memorial Park Memorial Day Ceremony (Source: KLTV Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Dozens of Smith County veterans, active duty service members, and their families gathered Monday at Tyler Memorial Park to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in our nation's Armed Forces.

First observed more than 100 years ago, Memorial Day is a time to celebrate, honor, and remember Americans who died in service of their country.

For East Texan Jerry Camp, it's a time to reflect on what those fallen heroes have given us.

“It means the remembrance of them and what sacrifices they gave for our country and for the freedoms that we have,” said Camp.

Ed Birckbichler said he attends the ceremony every year because those we've lost are the ones who deserve to be honored.

“They're the ones that did the ultimate sacrifice. The rest of us, we're the lucky ones. We're glad to be here to recognize them. We're not out here for the recognition for ourselves. That's not why we're here,” he said.

Birckbichler said today is a time to express not only loss, but gratitude.

“We have to remember the people that took care of us. If you think about it that way, they were taking care of us. Without them, what would we have here? Nothing,” he said.

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day in 1868. It was changed to Memorial Day and declared a national holiday in 1971.

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