Message from Memorial Day ceremony: “We are all brothers in arms”

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Families who have been coming to the West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery for years say Monday’s was the biggest ceremony they’ve seen there.

They came to remember their lost ones, something they say doesn’t happen often enough.

Leroy Anderson, Jr., served in the Army and the Navy. He said he flyover was something special.

“When you are in active duty you see it all the time. You go to sleep hearing it. You wake up hearing it. It brings back memories. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Anderson has four family members buried at the West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery.  He said Monday’s event was like a big family reunion.

“The older crowd, they are like uncles and aunts to me. The younger crowd are like my little brothers. It doesn’t matter what branch we served in. We’re brothers in arms.”

It was a musical and emotional tribute. Families came from all over the state, but they all have something in common – they are the ones left behind.

Many-Bears Grinder is the Commission of Veterans Affairs for the State of Tennessee.

She said families need to know we stand beside them.

“They get the gratitude and the support right after their loved one dies. But too often and after that their loved one sacrifice is forgotten.”

Grinder says we need to tell the stories of our fallen veterans so the next generation knows who fought for their freedom.

There are currently four State Veterans Cemeteries here in Tennessee.

The commissioner told WREG she hopes to open two more so no family has to drive more than 75 miles to pay tribute to their lost loved ones.

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