DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – All across the USA today, Americans stopped to remember our military heroes, the men and women who died in service of our country.

At the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, it was a traditional ceremony, with special reverence paid to those who—as we sometimes all too easily say—-made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of us and our freedom.

“May we never forget the price that they paid so that we may be free,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott as an honor guard posted the colors.  He reminded several hundred in attendance at the ceremony that our freedoms come at a cost.

“Today, we honor the heroes who gave their all to fight for those rights. Those who went into harms way to protect the American way.”

Larry Williams, executive director of the cemetery added, “They willingly put themselves in harm’s way; they expected nothing in return, except perhaps to be remembered.  Keeping their stories alive is a huge part of our sacred trust…on Memorial Day and every day.”

Cannon fire echoed across the valley as part of a traditional 21-gun salute; then taps were played.  A solitary piper performed the mournful strains of “Amazing Grace.”

It was especially emotional for those who had newly lost a loved one in combat. Mary Bush’s son,  Corporal Peter Courcy, died in 5-years ago.  “It’s very tough; I mean, every day for us is a memorial day.  But we couldn’t be more proud of Peter,” she said.    She added, “I know that Peter is with our Heavenly Father, and he is more alive today than he was when he was here on this earth.”

Imelda Castillo lost her son, Army Staff Sergeant Carlos Benitez, in Afghanistan.   She says few people understand the pain mothers feel…. too many view Memorial Day as just another opportunity to grill or barbeque.   “And most of the people think it’s a party time, well I guess they don’t lose anybody.  And for us it’s really important to be here and remember our loved ones.”

But there were no barbeque grills at the cemetery.   Only flowers and an occasional balloon spray broke up the rows of headstones standing in silent tribute to those who served.

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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