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Thousands Honor Late Family Members for Memorial Day
DAYTON -- Stephanie Harvey has been sitting here for the last 30 minutes thinking about her late husband, a Vietnam veteran who died almost four years ago.
"I just miss him," Harvey said. "Sometimes I write a letter to him if I have something on my mind, so I'll write a letter and come up and read it to him."
As you look around the cemetery, you'll notice dozens more wives and family members just like Stephanie.
"I always bring him fresh coffee," said Tsuneko Salmon about her late husband, John Salmon Jr. "He likes the cake and doughnuts so I always bring him cake and doughnuts."
Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts volunteers placed an American flag in front of every grave site for one of the busiest weekends for the VA National Cemetery.
"We'll average several thousand people all weekend long, they may want to go home and barbeque but they'll come here first and make flowers or flags on their relative's grave," said Daniel Barford of Dayton National Cemetery.
And Monday many of those family members came to the annual Memorial Day Service that's more than 30 years old.
"Being out here today puts me in mind of all the people, quite a few fellas I knew that didn't survive the war," said former PFC Tom Horning. "They were all killed."
"It means a lot to me," said Herb Stachler of Honor Flight Dayton. I'm probably one of the older guys out here. I'm 94 and I thank the Lord every day I was able to survive."
For Cheryl Moore, this was her first Memorial Day without her brother.
"To remember what each of them went through.The fear they must have felt. The pride they must have felt. Knowing they were defending what they love the most and that's our country and that has to be moving," said Moore. "Even to the young ones they have to understand that freedom did not come free."
Monday's ceremony concluded this weekend's Patriot Freedom Festival put on by the American Veterans Heritage Center.
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