CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — People gathered on Memorial Day at the Armory in Chattanooga to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
With the presentation of colors and song, people attended Chattanooga’s memorial day program.
“It’s part of our country. It is the veterans who secured our rights as well as our freedoms. It is only right that we give back to them,” said Chris Dooley, the chairman of the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council.
They honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“I think the remembrance is always important. It is important to all Americans and not just a few, but to every American this should be a very sacred day,” said Mickey McCamish, with the Military Officers Association of America, Chattanooga chapter.
Some World War II veterans attended.
“I thought the war was going to get over with before I got old enough to get in it. And I got my birth certificate and doctored it up and I joined the Navy. And Mama didn’t even know where I was,” said Al Smith, a veteran.
Veterans say it is important to be here.
“We are honoring those who are on what we call the eternal patrol, they are dead, we are honoring all of our veterans when we get together like this,” Smith said.
Gold Star Wives showed their appreciation.
“My husband served in Vietnam and his death was related to the agent orange. So it was deemed to be service connected, so therefore it makes me a gold star wife because of his service,” Carol Jackson said.
The keynote speaker was Louis Varnell, who talked about the importance of recognizing those who served in World War I.
“I love the historical things that we hear from the historian and how it ties it all together. And it really does take you back to World War I, what brought forward the ideals and so forth of this country,” Jackson said.
Those here hope people realize the true meaning of Memorial Day.
“It is very important to keep the memories alive. And for all of us to remember why we can have the barbecues and the picnics and have the liberties that we have in this great country of ours is because of all of these people who gave the great sacrifice,” Jackson said.
World War I Remembrance and Civil War Torchlight Tours were scheduled for Monday, but they were cancelled due to the rain.