Memorial Day is a somber reminder that freedom isn't free. 

On Monday, a Memorial Day ceremony was held at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. 

It was an opportunity for people to take a moment to recognize those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

Vietnam Veteran Ronald Tatum Sr. said this day is not about celebration. 

"We're not really celebrating. You don't really celebrate people losing their life but it's an honor to do this, a memorial to fallen soldiers that have fought and protected our rights and our country," Tatum said. 

Monday's ceremony included a presentation of colors and a 21-gun salute. 

It's a day that serves as a harsh reminder for veterans like Jack Sargeant Jr., who served in the Gulf War. 

"We all sign up to join," Sargeant said. "That's a blank check, payable in full including up to our lives and I've had friends that I've lost."

It's a hard say for many veterans who made it home. 

For Veteran Rene Chisholm, it's a day to remind people the true meaning of the holiday. 

"It's not just BBQ and a cold beer and something to drink, it's about the people who have died, who have fought for this country and who are still fighting for this country," Chisholm said. "That's special, that's special to me, and I hope its special to you and everyone else."