Tyler Memorial Day ceremony honors fallen heroes
World War II veteran among guest speakers at annual ceremony
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The sound of bagpipes echoed Monday morning throughout the Tyler Memorial Cemetery, as East Texans paused to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“We are all riding on freedoms that were paid for by a very small number of people,” said Brig. Gen. Matthew T. Mowery of the U.S. Marine Corps. The Troup native was among the speakers at this year’s event.
“Veterans Day is a day we honor those who served and are in service,” he said, “but today, Memorial Day, is really about that very small percentage who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
Many of the people in attendance at Monday’s ceremony were veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Men and women paying tribute to fellow service members who gave it all.
“Those of you that served in combat and had brothers and sisters in combat that lost their lives, you still feel that wound today,” said Congressman Nathaniel Moran. “May we never lose sight of the fact that there is a wound there every time someone gives their life for this country.”
Among the veterans honoring the fallen: 102-year-old Jack Hetzel of Big Sandy. The World War II veteran was briefly taken back in time during a ride in an old military vehicle, but not before leading the crowd in prayer.
“Our heavenly Father, I thank you for this opportunity to come here and to honor those who have gone before us and given us freedom,” Hetzel said.
While many spent this Memorial Day enjoying fun activities with their family and friends, there is no such thing as a happy Memorial Day. It is a day on which we enjoy freedoms that came at the expense of brave servicemen and women: heroes remembered by East Texas on Memorial Day and every day.
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