PANAMA CITY-- Hundreds braved the early morning heat to pay their respects to the servicemen and women who lost their lives in combat Monday.
"Well it's part of the promise, 'I will always remember you.' But more importantly, we have guys that getting killed every day and we don't even see about it on the TV," State Attorney Glenn Hess said.
Hess believes Americans are more interested in trivial matters than the things that are important.
"They would rather talk about somebody's divorce or somebody's wedding instead of these guys who are losing their lives to us."
For Hess, it's personal. He's attended this ceremony every year since he came back from Vietnam 35 years ago.
"Well, let's talk about the circle of death. The man that slept on my right, the man that slept on my left, my platoon leader, and my replacement were all killed. My crew chief was shot in January and I was shot in February. It was kind of close."
Those are the kinds of stories told over and over Monday.
"I believe in controlling your emotions, but there's a time to let it out and express it properly, and times like these are the times to do it," Mark Arnold, Vietnam Veteran, said.
"Emotions are very hard to control, very difficult to keep from choking up bringing a tear to your eye," Larry Bruce, Vietnam Veteran, said.
Ceremonies like this are also a chance for these men to remember those who's lives were changed by war.
"I feel uplifted as well as I feel sad because of the veterans who have given their lives but also the ones I know that are injured and suffering," Tom Collins, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, said.