Hundreds of people gathered at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery Monday to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States military.
"Most people think Memorial Day is barbecues and hot dogs and things like that, and until you actually have somebody that went through it and passed away who served in the military, then it just kind of takes a whole new meaning," said Chantelle Wiley.
More than 42,000 veterans are buried on the grounds of the 638-acre cemetery off Mountain Creek Parkway in Dallas.
On Sunday, volunteers place flags in front of the tombstones throughout the cemetery.
Each tombstone tells a unique story of sacrifice for the common good of the country.
"It's just overwhelming seeing everybody and everything out here. Normally when we come out here it's just the graves. Just to see everybody, it's emotional," said Wiley who was visiting her mother's grave.
Family members of the fallen said it's an honor to have others present on this important day.
"To me, he's surrounded not just by his family but by his extended family, by other members of the military," said Justin Solis. "People who also passed after serving or gave their life for service to protect all of us."
"It's important because both my family on my side and my wife's side have relatives that have served and it kind of gives me a sense of why I'm American and why I'm here," said Lee Reitz.
The names of those veterans who died during active duty were also read aloud.
The ceremony included the reading of the names of veterans who died during active duty and a wreath laying ceremony, followed by a 21-cannon salute and the playing of taps.
Developers say one day, the cemetery will hold around 280,000 veterans.
"It's hard to put into words but just being able to come out here and give thanks to those who served, just being able to say 'thank you' means a lot," Wiley said.