The production "A Grateful Nation Remembers" truly captures the purpose of Memorial Day. More than two thousand people watch a touching tribute honoring our country's soldiers. "It was meant to honor those people who have given us the freedoms that we enjoy" Kjerstin Ciociola, the media relations specialist for A Grateful Nation.
This is the largest Memorial Day event on the West
Coast, with powerful Vietnam reenactments, a full scale replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Vietnam Wall. " It rips my heart out, and it does that in a very good way, it makes me feel so proud" expressed Vietnam Veteran Paul Hughes.
And it's through this event vietnam veteran paul hughes has been able to heal. "It's just to say thank you, to american veterans, it's literally just that simple" Hughes explained.
But it's not just past and present veterans the memorial is meant to recognize. it's also a ceremony that not only remembers those who fought so courageously for our country's freedom, but honors those who are still fighting, ensuring that freedom continues. "The veterans and the soldiers, they really feel appreciated... I mean they really feel it, these people make them feel appreciated" Hughes stated.
This is the 18th year the production has been held, and it takes 200 volunteers to pull it off, all to send a message they hope will not be forgotten. "Thank you so much for what we have enjoyed, we owe you our lives and our freedom" expressed Kjerstin Ciociola.