May 28, 2012 7:53 PM
Chico VFW Commander James Crow, who took part in this morning’s ceremony, says, "It's a day to really reflect on those that died in service to their country, and it's very difficult at times to think about those that you were buddies with at the time."
For others, like Sandy Griffin of Chico whose husband is a Vietnam vet, it's a time to be thankful for the ones that are still here.
“I've always had a special place in my heart for patriotic music and listening to bands and of course for our servicemen. The thoughts that so many haven't come back is a big reminder every year that I’m lucky he's here." she says.
A somber mood could be felt at times during today's Memorial Day ceremony, but the sound of patriotic music and the sight of dozens of veterans throughout the crowd also created an uplifting tone for those in attendance.
Navy Veteran Gilbert Houston says, "I like to see all the different groups of veterans honored because everyone did their job. We're each proud of our own service, but it takes everybody to the job."
The service included a wreath laying ceremony, a 21 gun salute and a tolling of the bells to honor fallen submariners. The Chico Community Band was also on hand to offer a salute to the various branches of the military. As the ceremony came to a close, many reflected on the sacrifices made and lives lost. While some thought of the service men and women that are currently fighting for our safety.
"We have a cousin in Afghanistan right now. He's a captain in the army and he's back for his 2nd tour and just got married in December. So we just certainly pray for his safety and that of all who are serving," says Griffin.
In addition to all of the veteran groups that participated in today's ceremony, local boy scout troops and volunteers from the Ladies Auxiliary also helped with the festivities.