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Beal Cemetery Memorial Day celebration

FORT WALTON BEACH -- Across Northwest Florida, people took time to honor those who died while serving in our country's armed forces.
At a ceremony in Fort Walton Beach, families and a community remembered their heroes.

Laura Hussey "It's one thing to feel the scope of a loss a field of flags reminds you of that. But that feeling can be broken into a million pieces, each one held in somebody's heart"

Hundreds come to Beal Memorial Cemetery every year, paying respect to people they never knew, and people they can't forget. Gloria Walker remembers when her oldest brother Art left to fight in World War Two.

Gloria Walker "I wrote him a letter every day. Because it was the first time he had ever gone away from home, and it might be lonely"

Ed Rowe thinks about his father.
Ed Rowe "Dad was a Marine, World War Two, hit Iwo Jima on the third day. He was my superman, he was my hero"

So many families, so many heroes. For Allan Stearns, it's his father-in-law.

Allan Stearns "He was a prisoner of war on the island of Corregidor at the beginning of World War Two. US Navy, became an infantryman when the boats were all sunk, when the bullets were all used up he became a POW."

Veterans are in attendance from World War Two, all the way through the war on terror that's still claiming sons and daughters. In their world, bonds are forged under fire and those who are left show up, to honor those who are lost.

Russ/VFW Post 7674 "I think about all the boys that didn't come back. That's why we're here. A lot of us feel like we you know, I guess a little guilt for coming back, and the others didn't"