RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Hundreds of people gathered at the State Capitol today to honor Virginia's service men and women. State leaders hosted a ceremony today to celebrate active duty military, fallen heroes and their families.
Two hundred and thirty three Virginians have died while serving in the global war on terrorism. Among those honored today are two service men from here in the Richmond area.
Hundreds of people gathered in the hot sun for a special ceremony. The Governor, Attorney General and other state leaders spoke about soldier's sacrifices. The event proceeded viewing of The Wall of Honor housed in the lobby of the Attorney General's office.
The wall features Virginians slain serving in the war on terror. 27 names were added this year including Staff Sergeant Jaime Newman from Richmond who was killed in September in Afghanistan and Air Force Captain Charles Ransom from Chesterfield. He was killed last month when an Afghan military pilot opened fire at Kabul's airport.
Event attendee Carmen Gentile says he came out today because he wanted to honor those lives lost.
"I want to show my respect for them; they are the true American heroes of today. I wanted to be here; it's a special ceremony, and I just wanted to show my support for our departed service members," Gentile said.
This day was especially meaningful for Maris and Vera Adcock who's son Shane was killed in Iraq five years ago. The Mechanicsville family says events like these help in the healing process.
"It's an opportunity to pay tribute not only to our son who was killed in 2006, but to all of the fallen who have given their lives so selflessly, so we can enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted everyday," Vera Adcock said.
"I want to support the soldiers, I want to support the families just as they've supported us, and to remember our son and all those young men and women who've sacrificed and who still serve today," said Maris Adcock.
Another way to honor our service men and women, Governor Bob McDonnell just announced in time for memorial day weekend that through the end of this year, all active duty military and Virginia veterans will get into state parks for free.