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Remembering the real reason for Memorial Day - KOAM TV 7

Remembering the real reason for Memorial Day

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During a Memorial Day ceremony Saturday at Mount Hope Cemetery veterans gathered to commemorate U.S. soldiers and other military personnel whose lives were lost in war.

Veterans from all military branches gather to pay tribute to those that sacrificed their lives in the battles of war.

For Sandi Mullin placing a wreath in front on the Veterans Memorial in Webb City has special meaning.

"My husband served many years over in Vietnam and was one of those that were not welcomed home," says Mullin, now a Patriot Guard rider.  "With the things that he had seen and gone through and the coming home back in the 60's and 70's that this just means so much to him to be there for the vets."

Mullin's husband passed away in February.

Like Mullin, Leo Bontrager honors those he fought with side-by-side in Korea.

"I had several friends that gave the ultimate in there and Memorial Day means a lot to me and I always - I try to hit a graveyard on Memorial Day," Bontrager says.

Bontrager says the holiday represents much more than a weekend off to go to the pool.

"Freedom is not free, it's very costly and unfortunately a lot of people don't realize that," Bontrager says.  "I just wish everybody would remember this day as not just a picnic day but it would be just a remembrance of the people past and the people now that are serving, and also don't forget the families."

300 to 400 flags were placed around the cemetery to show the families of the service men and women they are not alone.

"I like to let their family and friends know that somebody besides them is here and give them encouragement," says veteran Walter Kane, and member of American Legion Post 13.  "Even if they are not here somebody will put something even if it is just a flag."

After Saturday's ceremony the Civil Air Patrol squadron opened doors to the Aerospace Learning Center Military Museum for tours and activities.

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