Family, community members gather to remember the fallen at state cemetery

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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. -- Hundreds gathered at West Tennessee Veteran's Cemetery this Memorial Day to remember fallen service members.

While some people enjoy barbecues and other activities on the holiday, many others view it as one of the toughest days of the year.

"He gave his life so his men could live that day. He was the only one in his platoon that was killed," said attendee Molly Morel.

She spent the day remembering her son, Captain Brent Morel, who she said was leading a platoon in Fallujah. He died while serving his country.

He is one of countless service members being honored and remembered at the cemetery's annual Memorial Day ceremony.

"It's not just a name engraved on a headstone. These are men and women who willingly went to go serve their country so that America could remain the best country in the world," said Commander Many-Bears Grinder with the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services

Speakers, songs, and a 21-gun salute served as tribute to the fallen heroes and their families.

"While I never get angry or annoyed when some well-meaning person wishes me a happy Memorial Day or thanks me for my service on Memorial Day, I humbly request that they find a gold star mother or a family member and thank them for their great sacrifice," said MSG. Randall Mac McKee.

A sentiment that Tiffany Harris shared. She works with Operation Stand Down Midsouth, serving homeless and disabled veterans. Operation Stand Down presented a wreath at the ceremony.

"Actually appreciate them and say thank you for your soldier, your son, your daughter, your father, your mother," she said.

"Having your barbecue and your day at the lake or whatever you choose to do on Memorial Day is fine. It's great. But please take a few minutes out of your day to remember those who gave us the freedom to do those fun things that we want to do on a day like today," Morel said.

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