Updated:CANTON, Ga. —
Hundreds of military service members honored the lives of women and men killed in the line of duty.
Patriots of all ages
endured the hot sun to gather at the Georgia National Cemetery in Cherokee County, to remember those who gave their lives for America's freedom. The day's tribute kicks off several efforts this weekend held to commemorate Memorial Day.
On Saturday, many people reflected on lost loved ones, visiting the
grave sites of relatives who died while serving the country.
James Callina said he lost his wife,
Constance, who served in the Army two years ago. He's also remembering his nephew who died during the war in Iraq.
"It means thank you to all the veterans that have
(given their) lives for us (so) that we can be free," Callina told Channel 2's Sophia Choi.
The Everett family is also using the occasion to pay respects to a fallen loved one.
Like others at the cemetery, they say the grounds are filling up too fast with so many aging
veterans from past wars.
"If you look, most of these gentlemen were born in the 40s and 30s, and we lost a generation that basically provided our freedom in the past," a family member said.
Today, that's who they are remembering as they pray for those still serving.
"I think we need to keep on doing this. Don't ever
stop, and remember what out freedom cost," Carol Everett said.