MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's a was reverent day across Alabama and our nation as our fallen heroes were honored on Memorial Day.
The holiday was commemorated in cities throughout our country Monday, including Montgomery. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Central Alabama Chapter 607, held their annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans of America Memorial Garden at Greenwood Cemetery.
The ceremony included the reading of the names of fallen local Vietnam veterans from the memorial bricks in the VVA garden and the firing honors by the Chapter 607 Honor Guard.
"It was a wonderful celebration. Our brothers in arms are here today with us. Our brothers that have passed on are with us here today. I wish I could have put 1,000 people out here and let them listen and see what Memorial Day means to them besides barbeque and hot dogs," said David Payne, VVA Chapter 607 President.
Juanita Orme was the guest speaker at the event. She is an Air Force veteran and volunteers at the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System.
"My message I wanted to get across today is that we are all comrades, dead or alive, and we support one another. It meant everything for me to be here because I am a soldier of the cross," Orme stated.
The Fallen Comrade Table was also set up, acknowledging the empty seat left by those who did not make it home to their families.
"That represents the missing man from the table that you sit at each night to have your pork chop or piece of chicken. That means something to us because we're honoring them by paying respect to them and showing them that they are not a forgotten soldier," Payne said.
The local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America does ceremonies twice a year, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
On Veterans Day, the chapter retires old flags that people bring to them. Through the years, they've properly disposed of thousands of flags.