An array of red, white and blue were on display Monday at the Arkansas Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock as local and statewide officials observed Memorial Day.
Gov. Mike Beebe was the keynote speaker where he encouraged his fellow Arkansans to appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans and their families.
Beebe said most ceremonies bring to remembrance more recent military battles but he added it is good sometimes to remember older American battles, such as at Lexington which started the American Revolutionary War.
“It is because of the sacrifices of our veterans that we have the freedom to be here,” Beebe said.
Beebe said the families of veterans need to be remembered, too.
Beebe said some of the hardest hit family members are the children of veterans.
“They have to live with the loss longer than anyone else,” Beebe said.
Beebe said people should do their best to give love, honor and respect to returning veterans, some of whom may be suffering from physical and emotional injuries.
“When you see a veteran, tell them thank you for your service,” Beebe said.
Some government programs such as scholarships offered to the children of veterans are good ways to show support, added Beebe.
The morning ceremony also took time to remember fallen soldiers from military campaigns that took place in this century as well as the 20th Century.
A moment of silence was offered for Americans who lost their lives during the following U.S. conflicts: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.
The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs also recognized the efforts of people and organizations who helped make the Memorial Day ceremony a success, including the National Guard Bureau Professional Center, National Guard Color Guard, 106th Arkansas Army Band, Little Rock Air Force Base Honor Guard, U.S. Marine Corps India Company 3/23, 189th Airlift Wing Arkansas National Guard, Fleet Reserve Association, 19th Airlift Wing, 314th Airlift Wing, U.S. Marine Corps Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, Patriot Guard Riders, Rolling Thunder, Arkansas Army National Guard, North Little Rock Police Department, Sherwood Police Department, City of Sherwood, Sherwood Forest, John Heffernan, American Legion, VFW, Distinguished Flying Cross, First Pentecostal Church, Arkansas Federal Credit Union, Golden Corral, Central Arkansas Water, City of North Little Rock, Butch Davis, Disabled American Veterans, Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Sam’s Club, Pulaski Technical College Aerospace Technology Center and the surrounding community.