Hundreds Turn Out For Memorial Day Ceremony - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Hundreds Turn Out For Memorial Day Ceremony

Across East Texas today, there were several ceremonies to remember our war dead.  Hundreds were on hand at Tyler Memorial Cemetery, remembering the loved ones lost to keep America safe.

"He was in a battle and he died from gunshot wounds," said Mary Kelly, who attended the Memorial Day celebration.  Kelly was just a little girl when her cousin was killed in World War II.

But she vividly remembers the moment that her grandmother got the heart-breaking news.  "It was terrible because he was the first son of the family and he was so well loved and it was a large family anyway and he was the only one who served in the service at that time," said Kelly.

John White says he was there to remember a friend from high school who died in Vietnam.  "He was drafted into the Army.  He went to boot camp, went over to Vietnam.  By the time he had been there six weeks, he had already been killed by machine gun fire," said White.

At the cemetery, hundreds of American flags were placed on the graves of those who died serving our country.  And members of the audience proudly wore red, white and blue and sang patriotic songs.  Members of the honor guard, veterans who have served, organized the table of honor, which remembers Prisoners Of War, those Missing In Action and those Killed In Action.

The table symbolized the members of the military who are not here to observe the holiday. Each item here has a sentimental meaning.  The white tablecloth symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms.  The slice of lemon is there to remind us of their bitter fate.  The salt symbolizes the family's tears as they wait.

Mary says her hope is that next year, those who didn't come out will do so.  "I'd like to encourage anyone in the future to never miss anything like this," said Kelly.   "It just does something to your heart.  It's like being in church."

Event organizers say there were about 400 people at today's ceremony.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.


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