Memorial Day ceremony honors local veterans - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Memorial Day ceremony honors local veterans

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Honoring those who have paid the ultimate price brought hundreds of veterans and families together at the Chattanooga National Cemetery on Monday.

While all service members were honored at this year's ceremony, Vietnam veterans got a special nod. It marks 50 years since the start of the war.

"We did not receive that level of recognition considering all of the sacrifices we had made, so the environment was totally different. It's now an effort to change what occurred then," said Chattanooga native and Vietnam vet, Mickey McCamish. He served 27 years in the Navy.

McCamish said that while we should always remember soldiers' sacrifices, their families shouldn't be forgotten, either.

 "The wives, the husbands, the fathers, the grandfathers. The supporting role is so important," he said.

Elsewhere in the cemetery, it was crowded with families visiting loved ones' graves.

Tammy Hastings of Flintstone was there honoring her dad, Archer. The Korean War veteran died last month.

For families like Hastings', it's comforting to see such a crowd on Memorial Day.

"It's overwhelming just to see the love and the support of the veterans and what they have done for us," she said.

"Freedom truly isn't free. It is with a sacrifice," said McCamish.

According to numbers from Hospice of Chattanooga, 497 veterans in our area passed away since last Memorial Day. Supporters say it's important to keep their memory alive with events like Monday's ceremony.

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