COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The American symbol of freedom is also a symbol of sacrifice. In Collin County, 42 flags wave – one for each Plano serviceman who has died for the Stars and Stripes.

The clouds parted just in time for Plano’s annual Sunset at Memorial Park.

Hundreds of people filled the park for an emotional remembrance of the fallen. One young girl, whose father served in Iraq, received an Honor Flag.

Congressman Sam Johnson offered his gratitude for the support he received after returning from spending seven years as a prison of war in Vietnam. “Thank you to the Plano community. I must say it’s good to be home in God’s country. It’s good to be home. I salute you.”

Many in the crowd were moved to tears.

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Dallas resident Susan Cline said, “It’s just really emotional to realize so many people have worked so hard and died for us and we get to live this great life.”

For the first time in the event’s history, the names of 42 Plano veterans were read aloud – all individuals who died in combat.

Charles Swafford survived a tour of duty the included Pearl Harbor. He’s now 93-years-old and was the oldest veteran at Monday’s event.

“I feel very blessed that I’m still here,” he said. “We’re celebrating the lives that we lost.”

It was a celebration of lives sacrificed for freedom and remembered on Memorial Day.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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