BEAUFORT, S.C. - The annual Memorial Day ceremony was held in Beaufort's National Cemetery, May 26, to pay tribute to those who have given their lives in defense of freedom. Every year, the nation takes time to recognize the heroes that fought for their country.
To pay their respects to the fallen, countless numbers of Beaufort's citizens gathered on the streets during the parade.
The ceremony began with the posting of the colors. All those attending stood and placed their right hand over their hearts while those in uniform saluted.
Staff Sgt. Francisco Gaxiola, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island band conductor, said that the ceremony is a chance for locals to show appreciation for the veterans in their community who may not normally receive that recognition.
People of all ages came to pay homage; even those without any military ties came to pay their respects to those who sacrificed their lives. Lance Cpl. Patrick Dudley, a member of the Parris Island Young Marines, said Memorial Day is something we should always support and remember. Dudley also said he is glad he was able to be a part of the ceremony.
The parade ended at the Beaufort National Cemetery where the memorial service was held. The service featured Brig Gen. James B. Laster, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, as a guest.
Capt. Casey DeMunck, aide de camp for Laster, said the community's support is very important to express the significance of Memorial Day.
Local schools planted around 1,800 flags in front of the headstones of the fallen veterans in the cemetery to show their patriotism and support, said DeMunck.
Ruben Cedens, a retired war veteran, said that Memorial Day isn't for the veterans and retirees entirely. It's also for the young individuals who aren't aware of why we have a Memorial Day to see and learn about it.