Nacogdoches Memorial Day Ceremony draws a large crowd

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Veterans were honored across the country today for their service, sacrifices and bravery fighting for all Americans.   A Nacogdoches ceremony held this evening brought the young and the old together to pay tribute to our fellow servicemen and women.

"We're here for basically four reasons: to honor, to celebrate, to respect, to fellowship," said Derron Johns, organizer.

Gone but not forgotten... A big crowd spent the last hours of their holiday weekend, not by the pool, but paying tribute to the men and women who fought for our freedom.  Like David Johnson...

"Fought in Kuwait and represented my country as best as I could," said David Johnson, Vet.

He played a big part in the ceremony.  He led Echo Taps with his trumpet.

"Taps is usually played when flags are at half-mast on their way down. To commemorate those who served their country," said Johnson.

The veterans and their supporters had a message for the younger folks out there. They said today is a day of thanks for those who served under these flags of the armed services.

"They should be thinking about the sacrifices that were made so that we can be doing what we're doing today," said Johnson.

A large group of young cadets in the Nacogdoches air force auxiliary squadron are already learning what it takes to be an American hero.

"Cadets are very focused on looking disciplined and very sharp because we believe that's the best way to show respect," said Ashli McDonald, Cadet Commander.

But memorial day isn't just about respecting our soldiers... It's also about remembering.

"When a soldier sacrifices their life, they've given the ultimate sacrifice that's ever possible. I believe we as citizens should honor those who have given their lives," said Johnson.