Hundreds of people of all backgrounds gathered at this ceremony. They are drawn together with one goal -- to pay their respects to the brave men and women who died in the name of freedom.
A cannon salute kicked off the ceremony where Houstonians honored the fallen men and women of all US military branches -- Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. This holiday is an especially emotional one for the parents, children, and friends of those who have recently been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are many elements of the ceremony that are performed every year, including the riderless horse procession, the presentation of the colors and the singing of the National Anthem.
While everyone at the ceremony looks forward to those traditions, many of them honor the sacrifices made by military members, not just on Memorial Day, but every day, by reaching out to the families who are left behind. Many of those organizations, like the Gold Star Moms, are represented, as are military members who've served alongside those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Retired Marine Matt Duffy said, "I spent 10 years active duty in the Marine Corp, and 10 years active duty in the Texas State Guard, and I have a lot of friends that sacrificed. It's just a great day to come out, and cry, and think about all of their sacrifices."
Following the service, visitors fanned out all over the cemetery to visit gravesites. Some visited grandparents and great-grandparents who served many years ago but whose service will never be forgotten.