PORT HUDSON, LA (WAFB) - Fallen war heroes were humbly honored by their loved ones during a special Memorial Day ceremony at the Port Hudson National Cemetery.
Their names were read aloud before a crowd of onlookers, many of them remembering the life of someone who made the supreme sacrifice. They gathered under the colors that brought them together. Among them were Arthur Richardson and his young daughter Anna-Claire.
"When he was 17-years-old he enlisted in the Army and went to Vietnam," Richardson said.
Arthur's father, Michael Richardson Senior died of congestive heart failure seven years ago. Arthur said not only did his father serve overseas, he was also a Veterans representative at Port Hudson.
"I just appreciate the time he spent with us and the dedication, and I think the time in the Army really helped prepare him for the man that he was, that he raised us to be," Richardson said.
On this day the warriors who rest are remembered by relatives, and even strangers, who pause to honor them. Diane Freeman, sister of late U.S. Army Veteran Anthony Prelow, is touched by the many people who gathered to pay tribute.
"It's from their heart, I believe, because I know it's from mine and it just a beautiful thing to come and let them all know there's still somebody who cares about them," Freeman said.
Guest Speaker and Louisiana American Legion Vice Commander Ricky Griffin turned the tables for a moment and focused on the people seated before him.
"One of the most painful scars of war is inflicted not on the veteran but on the people who loved that veteran," Griffin said.
Griffin encouraged everyone to support those who are left to mourn and to always assure them that their love and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
"We are all related in one way or another. If you're American you're related to these folks," Program Support Manager Ronald Stout said.
Unaccompanied, or homeless, veterans are typically given special recognition at the service. American Legion Post 502 proudly announced, this year, there were none.