Hundreds of San Antonians took time from the long holiday weekend to focus on the true meaning of Memorial Day, by attending the annual observance at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery Monday morning.
Under a dark, cloudy sky that somehow held back the rain, people let their tears flow as music, spoken word, and a 21-volley salute helped to conjure up memories of those who gave their lives for freedom.
"It's quite sentimental for me," said Rudy Chavarra, a Vietnam War veteran who lost several friends in battle. "We will never forget our fallen heroes because they're the ones who made it possible for us to be here. May God bless them."
At 7 years old, Grace Kurian is too young to understand war, but she fully grasps the true meaning of the holiday.
"To celebrate those who died for us, for our country," she said.
Her father, Matthew Kurian, an active duty airman, said he makes sure his daughter and her younger brother attend the services every year.
"We come out for Memorial Day to pay tribute to our fallen heroes," he said.
While the nation pauses to remember the lives lost on this one day of the year, family members live with the loss all year long.
Christine Gonzales sat at her father's grave, listening to the ceremony nearby.
Gonzales also fought back tears as she spoke about him.
"I think about the young soldiers who died, but a lot about my dad," Gonzales said. "We're very proud of him and we witnessed all the sacrifices that he did."
Keynote speaker and author, Tom Ruck, reminded the crowd to make memories now with the veterans who are still alive by recording their stories of battle.
"I don't care if you write it down, pencil it in or whatever," Ruck said, "because when that veteran is gone, their story is gone."

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Images: Memorial Day Ceremonies

Published On: May 27 2013 01:39:52 PM CDT

San Antonians marked Memorial Day by paying tribute to fallen soldiers at various ceremonies across the city Monday.

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