Thousands attend Memorial Day ceremony at WWI Museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. That’s what Memorial Day is all about. The National World War I Museum pulled out all the pomp and circumstance to give our fallen soldiers a ceremony they deserve.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II said, "Some see it as the kickoff of summer, some see it as the time for the family to have their first backyard BBQ of the year, still others see it as an occasion to visit, decorate the graves of relatives, the healthiest view of Memorial Day I would suggest is a time to remember."

Monday morning at the museum, hundreds of people were doing just that, remembering and honoring over one million men and women who died serving our country.

Stan Beatty, U.S. Army Veteran said, "Every Memorial Day, I have to attend a ceremony such as this.”

This was the first time Beatty spent Memorial Day at the WWI Museum. During the Vietnam War, he served in the United States Army. Beatty said every year, Memorial Day is a holiday that really hits his heart.

"Well I think that it had become more meaningful as I’ve gotten older and I think about some of the people that died in Vietnam,” said Beatty.

Michael Martinez, Vietnam Veteran said, “That’s the hard part for a lot of us, knowing that we know, everybody in here knows somebody that didn’t come back, one way or another.”

It wasn’t only veterans that took part in Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony, but children excited to learn the true meaning behind it.

Visitor, Rebecca Hosty said, “I really like the WWI Museum because it’s the only one in the country and it’s also a great way to celebrate Memorial Day and honor the soldiers who gave their life for us.”

Closing Monday’s ceremony was the playing taps, a tune that’s not so easy for many today.

Beatty said, "I always get emotional when I hear taps, sorry about that, but it hits me in my gut and I never recover from it for a while and I guess that’s why I’m emotional now, I still haven’t recovered from it.” 

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