LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Memorial Day is more thanjust backyard barbeques and pool fun. It is the day our great nation will pauseto remember. It's the day that this nation recognizes the great shoulders weare standing on and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending ourcountry and our freedom.
Veterans from all overAngelina County came out to several events to honor their fallen heroes.
"We do it to rememberthe ones that gave the last full measure," said Army Veteran Sam Permenter Jr.
The annual VFW ceremony hasbecome a regular for veteran Coy Swinney and his wife Shirley who lost their sonin a naval accident 46 years ago.
"People need to taketime to remember what it's all about and remember it represents the passing ofour service members," Shirley Swinney said.
For the veterans from thecountry's greatest generation, ceremonies like this hit deep.
"It hits them in theheart," said VFW Post Commander Alfred Navarro. "They're proud to serve thecountry when the country needed them."
Veterans hope that the sacrificefrom their brothers and sisters does not go forgotten on the holiday.
"It's important tokeep America strong if you are going to remember those that went before you andshow some reverence to them," John Aten.
"For me, I know it isfor the ones who fell, who didn't come back; the real heroes," Permenter said.
Veterans at the VFW saidthey will continue coming to the ceremony to make sure those that have gonebefore them will continue to be honored.
Veteran Families and membersof the community also gathered at the Garden of Memories Cemetery to honorthose who served at The Avenue of Flags event. The event gave veterans a chanceto share their memories.
Family members also had the opportunity toplace flags at their loved one's grave site.
"The veterans fought for our freedom andfreedom is something that we cherish," said Garden of Memories manager Allen Ware."We take it for granted but we cherish our freedom."
After the ceremony the crowd released red,white and blue balloons in remembrance of all who served.