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Memorial Day ceremony celebrated at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery

The Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery held a special ceremony to honor fallen heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Memorial Day is a time when we take a moment to remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. The Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery held their annual event on Monday to celebrate those fallen heroes.

Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Veazey with the Arkansas National Guard, served as the master of ceremonies and he still shares the same notions that he did in the year prior, about honoring our fallen servicemen and servicewomen.

"The sweetness of enduring freedom has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice," said Veazey. 

The ceremony typically follows the same schedule year after year, with Command Sgt. Maj Veazey being the first to open up the event, others then follow suit and begin to lead the national anthem, as well as the invocation. 

"We are compelled to never forget. That while we enjoy our daily pleasures there are others who have endured and may still be enduring," said Veazey.

Governor Asa Hutchinson was the keynote speaker at the annual Memorial Day event. He spoke about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and how freedom is always at stake, so we honor the fallen, as a reminder of our freedom. 

"I think about the change that's occurred in this world since we were last together. It's represented in every veteran. It's represented in everyone who has given their life for our country and that is a call to duty, a call to arms. A belief in freedom. A belief in America," said Hutchinson. 

He, along with others, laid the traditional wreath down in the ceremony.

10-year-old Jeremiah and 8-year-old Noah Mason are brothers that were in attendance at the ceremony. The youngsters both took in the sights and sounds of Taps and the 21 Gun Salute before they explored the rows of headstones in the cemetery.

"Today was kind of sad," said the oldest boy, Jeremiah. "But we honor the dead soldiers that gave their lives for freedom for us."  

"I didn't like the loud noise when they were shooting," said Noah.  "But I saluted the soldiers that passed and did the right thing for us. Died for us to be safe."

Noah found a shell casing from one of the guns while he was out there. And was told by a man in uniform that he should keep it and remember to sign the date on it, so that he never forgets about the day.

The full ceremony was live streamed on the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery -  North Little Rock Facebook page. To watch the stream, please click here.

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