Around 200 area residents gathered Monday in remembrance of fallen American soldiers and the sacrifices they made in the line of duty during a Memorial Day service Monday at Jackson City Cemetery.
"It's a very special day," said Naomi Hartle of Jackson. "I always think of those who lost their lives and what they gave up, what they've missed out on."
Hartle, whose father, husband and grandson have all served in the military, has attended the annual Memorial Day service for 35 years.
The year's service, presented by American Legion Post 158 and its auxiliary, featured patriotic songs by the Jackson Municipal Band that paid tribute to members of each military branch.
With a waving flag set at half-staff and the gravestones of veterans as a backdrop, guest speaker Dr. Frank Nickell, history professor at Southeast Missouri State University, spoke about the significance and history of Memorial Day.
"This is a chance to acknowledge the debt we owe those who have served and are serving our nation in uniform," said Nickell. "The danger in not remembering their sacrifices is that as a nation we may forget the price of freedom is so costly."
The service honored the men and women from Cape Girardeau County who lost their lives in war as well as the 25 million veterans currently living in the United States. A similar service was held in Cape Girardeau Monday morning at the Osage Community Centre.
Navy veteran David Ludwig of Jackson said he attends the Jackson ceremony every year to pay his respects to fallen soldiers.
"I feel everyone should remember the people who gave their lives, as well as their loved ones who go on," Ludwig said.
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