CHALMETTE, La. -- Sunday, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars held a tribute to those who are now buried at the Chalmette National Cemetery after losing their lives during the Vietnam War.
As names of the fallen were read aloud, veterans lined up to ring a bell in their honor.
"These are Americans and these are soldiers that we have that have given their lives for us, the way we live today, what we have," said retired Maj. Tommy Rigsby, U.S. Army.
That same message is delivered each Memorial Day weekend at Chalmette National Cemetery, where people gather to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many in defending this country.
The ceremony was one of two held in Chalmette on Sunday.
Across town, loved ones honored veterans now resting at St. Bernard Memorial Gardens.
"How important is this? I mean, we wouldn't be here today were it not for the people in the armed services that passed on and sacrificed their lives for us," said memorial gardens manager Floyd Herty.
For Navy veteran Dennis Melancon, the events stir strong feelings of pride and appreciation.
"To come out with family, with friends and see how everybody remembers us, remembers the ones that have fallen already,” Melancon said. “It's very, very important to us. It's something that's gotta be done at least once a year. It probably should be done more."