TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - A few hundred people braved warm temperatures in Tuscaloosa to recognize the sacrifices of our veterans during Monday's Memorial Day ceremony.
The Tuscaloosa Veterans Memorial Park Association and the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center hosted a Memorial Day program at Veterans Memorial Park, located on McFarland Blvd. in front of University Mall, on Monday at 9 a.m.
The tradition brought retired Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Holmes to the park, among many others.
"That's what it actually is, soldiers killed. And I was fortunate, I'm here to celebrate for them," retired Staff Sgt. Ronald Holmes said.
Speakers paid tribute to those men and women who died serving our country.
"Today on Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, the United States pauses to honor our fallen heroes who died in service to our nation," guest speaker LTC Jonathan L. Goode explained to the crowd.
Goode is a professor of Military Science at The University of Alabama.
He went on to tell the audience the number of soldiers who died on the battlefield in wars on foreign shores and during the Civil War.
"We who have served in combat will never forget. We've known, loved, held our friends and buddies for today is a personal day for us," Major James Burch, a recipient of the Purple Heart and the Silver and the Bronze Star, said.
U.S. Navy Commander Brian Butler, who serves as Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park Association, said the program is a great time for veterans to meet other veterans.
"It's a great opportunity for people that aren't a member of the military or don't have relatives, just to come and participate in the event, to meet other veterans, and just to show their thanks," Butler said. "That means a great deal to us, as veterans."
However, he said it is particularly meaningful for veterans to see civilians come out to remember those who have given their lives for their country.