MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - They lost their lives so we can keep what so many seek: Freedom.
Monday hundreds of people across the Mid-South are remembering members of the military who died while serving. There were several Memorial Day ceremonies, including one at Memorial Park Cemetery in East Memphis.
“Will we pause in a busy pace of life in this society to mourn for those we lost?” asked Secretary of State, Tre Hargett.
You don't have to be a veteran or know someone killed in combat to appreciate a simple and profound truth.
“Freedom is not free. We've had so many men and women both that have given their lives throughout the years so that we could have the freedoms we have in this country,” said Tommy Acklen.
A country where many veterans feel people don't see what Memorial Day is all about.
“I don't think a lot of people recognize the sacrifice that veterans do for this country. We do it without asking for anything in return. We do because we love America,” said Mose Carter, who served in the Vietnam War. Many of his comrades did not make it home.
“They had the Vietnam Memorial traveling wall and I went down there. Got a neighbor of my neighbor on there. One of my high school classmates and another classmate a year older than me. Had to scratch their name off the wall,” Mose Carter said.
There were roughly 200 people at the Memorial Park ceremony. Many were children, whose parents and grandparents hoped they learn a valuable lesson.
“I think the kids today are losing the idea of what America is all about and the freedoms we have here. I think the kids need to understand what has gone on in the past to ensure the freedom that they have,” Acklen said.
Remembering the fallen and passing on tradition, that's what Memorial Day is about.