RICHMOND, Va. -- Nearly 1,000 people attended the Commonwealth's Memorial Day ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond Monday morning. Veterans, families, and neighbors came together to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax served as keynote speaker. He called on Virginians to pause to reflect on the service members who sacrificed everything for our freedom.
"It is the obligation of all Virginians and every American to pause on this Memorial Day," Fairfax said. "To remember and honor all who have died fighting for freedom. It is our duty to honor those we lost by living up to the ideals of liberty and freedom that they died defending."
More than 12,000 names of Virginians who died serving in our Armed Forces are inscribed on the Shrine of Memory on Belvidere Street.
The annual ceremony honored and remembered the service members since the Revolutionary War.
Prior to the service, Virginians honored the fallen heroes by placing flags and wreaths on graves.
Nancy Waldrop dropped off a wreath for her son-in-law who's buried at the Seven Pines National Cemetery in Sandston on Friday.
Col. Thomas Felts was a 46-years-old career soldier in the Army when he was killed during combat about 11 years ago.
"It’s very important that we don’t forget them and we always remember the sacrifices that they and their families make for this country," Waldrop explained. "All I ask is they take a moment during the day and reflect on the importance of honoring our veterans."
More than 40 wreathes representing various organizations were presented in remembrance of all fallen heroes inside the Shrine of Memory. That was followed by a rifle salute by the James M. Slay Detachment, #329 Marine Corps League.