DALLAS — A cannon salute and moving tributes brought tears to a crowd of hundreds at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on Monday.
Memorial Day is more than a work holiday here.
"Look around," said Katy Bieck. "It's not being forgotten."
Katy and Bruce Bieck go to the cemetery every Memorial Day to visit the graves of her parents. Theodore Ryan served in the Air Force; Marie Ryan was in the Army.
"My mom was a nurse in the Army Nurse Corps in World War II and was in the field units," Katy said with emotion. "She was just very proud, so it's my way to honor my parents."
In row after row, families paid their respects on Monday, sometimes to people they don't know personally. But each person who steps foot on the hallowed grounds has personally benefited from their actions.
"Because they fought for our country," said Yamel Hernandes.
This is not just a sea of grave markers on a patriotic day.
"I come out here to honor the fallen soldiers," said Daria Crowder. "And also to visit my husband's grave."
For Crowder and many other Americans, Memorial Day is an opportunity to give thanks for the sacrifices of a loved one — and countless others.