Thousands Gather To Honor Fallen Soldiers

By Susy Solis
|  Monday, May 30, 2011  |  Updated 6:56 PM CDT
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More than 31,000 service members have been laid to rest at DFW National Cemetery.

Susy Solis, NBCDFW.com

More than 31,000 service members have been laid to rest at DFW National Cemetery.

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Families who attended the Memorial Day Celebration at DFW National Cemetery share a common bond with each other. Every family has lost a loved one as they served the county.

"Especially with the gold star families. The gold star represents families that have lost loved ones during active duty service," said Charlotte Taylor, a mother whose son, Matthew Ogden, was killed on June 1, 2009.

The ceremony is a somber display, but for many it provides solace and sense of pride.

"Everyday is Memorial Day for families of fallen soldiers, but it's a always nice to see that there are so many other people that want to come out and honor these young men and women who have served their country," said Mary Bush.

Bush's son, Peter Courcy, was killed almost 3 years ago while he served in Iraq.

Thousands of American flags bustled in the wind at DFW National Cemetery and the ceremony began with a moment of silence, a prayer and pledge to the American Flag.

The fallen were honored with an aerial salute in the missing man formation.

Brigadier General Joseph DiSalvo addressed the crowd.

"Memorial Day is not a day of solemn mourning but it's a day of reverent celebration. It is a day we pause and give thanks to  the veterans who have fought for what we have today," he said.

Later, the names of hundreds of fallen service men and women were called out and a rose representing each of them was laid on a chair representing their respective branch of military.

Taps was played followed by a 21 cannon salute.

Hundreds of families spent the day visiting, decorating and praying at their loved ones graves, each one decorated with an American Flag.

 "We love and miss him everyday and one day we can't wait to be reunited with him," said Bush.

More than 30,000 service men and women have been laid to rest at DFW National Cemetery.

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