A Memorial Day ceremony was held in Fort Smith on Sunday to pay tribute to the soldiers that once served our country, but are no longer with us.
The ceremony at the Fort Smith National Cemetery started early Sunday (May 25) morning with a presentation of colors. Those in attendance were greeted by the Fort Smith Mayor. A special Keynote Address was made by Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Bryant.
“It’s about recognizing the ones that have gone before us and what it means to serve now and in the future,” said Carl Martinous, Reserve Military.
The event ended with a placing of wreaths by military officials on graves of their comrades.
“It kind of restores your faith in the American pride with all of these people supporting our country,” Martinous said.
Attendees were able to pay tribute to their family members lost and meet others that have experienced the same pain as they have.
April Coats was there to honor her brother Dustin. He was killed while serving in Iraq.
“It’s always sadness,” Coats said. “You also feel pride because you know he died doing something that he was proud of doing and that he was happy to be doing.”
This is the ninth Memorial Day Coats and her family are celebrating.
“We all come out,” Coats said. “The Aunts and Uncles are here, my husband is even playing in the community band. It’s a special occasion for my whole family.”
Coats along with many others said there are a lot of heroes who need to be remembered by current and future generations every Memorial Day. Sunday’s ceremony was just one way to do that.
The program was sponsored by the Veterans of Crawford and Sebastian County as well as the Avenue of Flags Committee.