Houstonians observe Memorial Day


Lawmakers Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee, Al Green, Mayor Annise Parker and Gov. Rick Perry were in attendance Monday. It was an especially crowded Memorial Day celebration with people lining up as far back as the entrance of the cemetery.

One family is celebrating a legacy of service.

The Browning family is here to visit the grave of Herman Browning, a man who served his country in the air force, during the Korean War.

"I know that he would have been proud of his sons, because they served in the military too," said Silva Browning, his widow.

Browning and her late husband raised five sons, who each followed in their father's footsteps.

On the sons Ron Browning served in the Navy.

"The pride he had in America, and the pride of being able to serve this great country is just amazing," Ron Browning said.

His widow says he would have loved the massive crowd gathered at Houston National Cemetery.

"He would have been proud of Americans; he would be proud of the Americans standing up for liberty and Iraq and Afghanistan," Silva Browning said.

In spite of the oppressive heat, the crowd remained huge for all two hours of the ceremony, which included remarks from Perry, an air force veteran.

"There is no higher form of public service than wearing the uniform of one's country," Perry said.

At the ceremony, Parker issued a Memorial Day proclamation.

"The millions of those citizen soldiers who have answered the call, have gone on field battles, and we gather today to remember them," Parker said.

The numbers make this day more somber; the death toll for US military in Iraq stands at more than 4,400. In Afghanistan, it's 1,000.

In spite of that reality, Rebecca Haley still hopes her son will join the military, just as her father did so many years ago.

"My family is very patriotic, and we think that living in the United States of America is the best place to be," she said.

The cemetery was a crowded place for the ceremony, but hours after it ended, people were still out there to thank veterans.
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