East Texans gather to honor past, present heroes

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - LONGVIEW/KILGORE/CANTON, TX (KLTV) - East Texans in Longview and Kilgore gathered to honor our past and present heroes.

It was an intimate gathering at Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Longview Memorial Day. After a short service, attendees were handed flowers and asked to place them on the graves of our fallen heroes. The flowers were placed on the tombstones around three o'clock - which is the time of the National Moment of Remembrance when all U.S. citizens were asked to pause for a moment of silence.

Congressman Louie Gohmert and State Representative Tommy Meritt were among dignitaries who spoke in front of the Gregg County courthouse Monday morning. Veterans from several wars were honored with flags flown over the state capitol, as well as our nation's capitol.

"We're here to pay tribute to those individuals in the warmest way…from our hearts and we offer our sympathy and our condolences...tell them how proud we are for them serving our country," said Meritt.

There were more than a few flags flying in Canton as a local military group recognized the holiday. A field of flags stayed busy flying courtesy of the Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial Foundation. The flags covered the corner near the highway, each representing a donation towards the veteran foundation. Those wanting to help their cause could choose between flags or two fancy cars to be raffled off.

"[We are] remembering those who have fought and died for us and have gave their life for us and the veterans who are still around and who went and was lucky enough to get back home," said Montgomery.

Organizers plan on making the Field of Flags as big as it can get and plan to display it during the five patriotic holidays throughout the year.

At the Harris Street Memorial in Kilgore, a large crowd gathered to show their respect during the annual Memorial Day Service.

Added to the monument wall for the city's fallen was the name of Sgt. Kenneth May Jr., the Kilgore Marine killed in Afghanistan. Veterans say we that we must never forget those lost serving our country.

"I'm proud of the turnout that was here this morning," said Jerome Denmon of Liberty City. "I thought it was tremendous, and I just want to ask the people to keep remembering our veterans, the ones that are still fighting for our freedoms. They need our thoughts, and they need our prayers."

More than 80 people attended Monday's memorial commemoration.

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