Veterans Honored in the Heat for Their Cool Bravery

American Veterans have become even more celebrated since the September 11th tragedies shook up America's sense of security.

And today, on Memorial Day, East Texans weren't shy about showing their patriotism during a remembrance ceremony for American veterans at Tyler's Memorial Park on Monday.

The salute to soldiers was complete with bag pipes and a march that included Veterans from every major war during the 20th Century.

All the Vets and their family members were well aware of what soldiers put on the line for freedom. Veteran Marcus Wollford knows the price a soldier can pay all too well. Four generations of his family fought for America...his brother Walter Joe Lewis Griffin died in Vietnam. Marcus kept a letter from the government which was sent to his family following Walter's death.

It said, "I pray for the day when this war can be ended and peace be restored. I wish that your son could have lived to see that day."

Monday was the first Memorial Day since September 11th, making it an extra special holiday for everyone.

"In our society, it takes sometimes a tragedy to reawaken us, said Mike Ford who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Vietnam.

So far, 1.2 million American men and women have perished in all American wars. Those from East Texas were commemorated during a 21-gun salute by the 2nd battalion 14th marines...and their lives were celebrated each time a new flower was placed during the adorning of the wreath ceremony. Meanwhile grateful Americans, some very young, set up tributes to fallen soldiers and hung their heads in hope that each soldier's death is one tragic loss closer to peace.