Virginia War Memorial ceremony draws hundreds

By Jola Szubielski

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This Memorial Day thousands are gathered in our Nation's capitol and across the country to honor our fallen soldiers-- Richmond, of course is no exception-- commemorating Virginia citizens who died in service to our country.

The ceremony lasted about one hour, but its impact is long lasting as hundreds gathered to pay tribute to our military.

More than eleven thousand names inscribed on this wall-- dating from the Persian Gulf War back-- Virginians who have died in the line of duty, fighting for our freedom-- almost two hundred more making the ultimate sacrafice in Iraq. But each one holding a special meaning.

William Seward came to the ceremony to pay his respects, "I have a great deal of respect for what our current military is doing, what our past military like my father WWII Veteran served on the frontlines."

Which is why William Seward makes the trip to the Virginia War Memorial every year, paying respect to those who like his father have shaped this country for future generations.

Seward says, "I've probably been coming 20 of the last 25 years."

But for Specialist Beman, this ceremony is his first.  He served in Iraq for about a year, returning home last April, his own experiences still fresh in his mind.

Virginia National Guard Specialist says, "It brings a tear to the eye because you really understand what its about.

And a new appreciation for his fellow serviceman and women, both past and present.

Specialist Beman, "For me personally its just the kind of thing to remember our fallen and to know and show support that even though they're gone, they're still around."

In Richmond, a Memorial Day ceremony is starting at 4 p.m. at the Carillon in Byrd Park.  The celebration will continue with a concert on the Dogwood Dell Stage at 7:30 p.m.

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