Military Families Gather For Special Ceremony

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Hundreds of military families gathered at the 53rd annual Memorial Day tribute at Resthaven Mortuary and Cemetery.

"It means a lot to me and my family. The veterans that came before us paved the way for us and for our country," said Sgt. Ralph Ortiz, McConnell airman.

For active duty officers like Sgt. Ortiz, this was not just another holiday.

"It's great to go out and have fun and spend time with your family, but we always have to take at least a moment out of the day to remember that today isn't promised, tomorrow is not promised," said Sgt. Ortiz.

The Memorial Day tribute at Resthaven Mortuary and Cemetery gave the hundreds of people out there, a time to honor those who have given of themselves in service to our country.

"There's a lot of people that come out here to help honor those who have died in combat and those who have died since," said Mike Harter, Vietnam War veteran.

The strong winds didn't keep away friends and families of veterans from coming out and reflecting on the day.

"It's windier than heck out here, but it doesn't stop Kansans. We understand that a little breeze isn't going to slow us down when we're out here with the opportunity to remember the people who've given everything for America," said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas.

While the sound of the bagpipes rang on, people like Sgt. Ortiz hoped that everyone would take a moment to reflect deeper on the real meaning of Memorial Day.

"I hope that they would take a moment out of their day to reflect on the liberties and the justice that we have," said Sgt. Ortiz.

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