Thousands of people visited Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery Monday for its Memorial Day ceremony.
It marked a moment of remembrance to honor our nation's fallen service members.
"Let us pray," NAS Fort Worth JRB Chaplain Randal Potter said as he began the ceremony's invocation. "Lord, we are all here today because we individually remember someone very close to us who gave his or her life, while freely choosing to protect their nation."
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They are men and women who, in the name of service, made the ultimate sacrifice.
"After every great loss, there needs to be a time to remember, a time to heal, and a time to honor those we have lost," said Vice Admiral Mary M. Jackson, Commander, Navy Installations Command, who gave the Memorial Day address at the event.
The Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 63,000 veterans and their eligible family members.
"Today we pay tribute to the heroes of Texas who have sacrificed their lives for our country," Jackson said.
Some of their names were read aloud, recognizing those killed in active duty.
"Texas' own sons and daughters have stepped up when the need for courage and selflessness were necessary," Jackson said.
They are people who dedicated their lives to a greater cause, volunteered or were drafted, then serving in war or in peace.
Jackson had a message to the families they left behind.
"You, more than anyone, know the meaning of ultimate sacrifice and the last full measure of devotion," she said. "And when you see a family grieving, comfort them, because they, too, have sacrificed in the name of the country. Thank them, because they have fought just as hard."
Which is why we all should turn our appreciation into action beyond this Memorial Day.
"I would ask as you leave here and go about the rest of your day, keep the fallen in your minds, their family and friends in your hearts," said Doug Maddox, Jr., assistant director of DFW National Cemetery.
"May God bless each one of you and your families and may God bless the United States of America," Jackson said.
Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery opened in May 2000. Next year, it will complete a $9 million construction project.