NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -
It’s one of the oldest memorial ceremonies in Arkansas, dating back to the 1970s. The Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs held a ceremony at the State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.
Hundreds paid their respects Monday, recognizing every branch in the military and honoring every member. The Pledge of Allegiance kicked off the ceremony. For nearly 10 years it's been held at the State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.
“The military is a family and they honor to serve our country and then to see these families whose family members have given the ultimate sacrifice, this is important that we be here,” said U.S. Marines Colonel, Nathaniel Todd.
It was a special time for many as they honored those who lost their lives and those still serving our country.
“I even go back to days when I wasn't a flyer, I was in maintenance and a lot of our maintenance guys when to fly in an airplane a C-133 that we lost 10 of them and I lost a lot of good maintenance buddies, I still remember all their names and I think about them all the time,” said Air Force Flight Engineer from 1957-1979, Carl Hudson.
For some, it was just a few years ago when they lost loved ones.
“A lot of people think it's just a weekend to go party and drink, but it's not ... it's not about us...it's about them, they pay the ultimate sacrifice just so we can do those things,” said Legend Beck, lost his brother in 2011 Cpl. Loren Buffalo.
“Our lives have all been changed, he'll always be a part of our heart, but he's not here all the what if's, I’d probably have grandchildren by now, more grandchildren, great grandchildren,” said Buffalo’s grandmother, Judy Williams.
At least 700 people were at today's ceremony, including Governor Mike Beebe.