For many of the thousands gathered around the National War Memorial Friday, being there for the country’s largest Remembrance Day ceremony was personal.
“It is so emotional, it really is,” said Deborah Jones, who tightly and proudly held a framed photo of her father who served in the Navy and passed away a few weeks ago.
He didn’t want a service, she said, so she brought the photo to the ceremony.
“I feel really privileged to be here today and I hope he’s with us and knows how much we love him and appreciate what he did.”
Those who have served were among the crowd.
“Look at all these veterans walking around,” said retired Maj. Francois Rufiange. “Some of them are leaning forward they have so many medals—it’s incredible.”
After the ceremony, he was going to a school to speak with students about the importance of this day.
“I’m going to tell the kids this afternoon to have a place in their heart for a few minutes just to think about those that gave their lives for what we enjoy today which is liberty because otherwise we don’t know where we would be.”
Shelly Williamson was thinking of her father and brother who served.
“I just think of all the people that sacrificed and that should mean so much to everybody but it really means so much to me.”
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