For some it was a somber day. For others it was a day filled with pride, and for most, it was a day to reflect back on the fallen heroes who have given us so much to be grateful for.
Brenda Selfe, a memorial visitor, said, "It's reminding us the freedoms that we have, the simple things that we talk about at work all the time and we're able to speak up and say whatever we want, and you and I could disagree on anything and it's ok."
Bay County celebrated this Memorial Day in many ways. In the early morning, a wreath laying ceremony got things started when members of the Fleet Reserve Association read from a list of names, all shipmates who have lost their lives in the past year.
The wreath was then laid in the Gulf in remembrance of their departed shipmates. Later, hundreds gathered at the Kent-Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Many gave moving speeches, sang songs, and gathered in prayer to give thanks to the ancestors, family members and friends who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and a mid-afternoon service held at the Garden Club included patriotic readings and keynote speakers.
Afterward, many made a visit to Memorial Wall to pay respect to the fallen heroes. Many members of the military say they have mixed emotions of this day.
David Selfe, a Vietnam veteran, said, "It makes me feel teary-eyed. You meet a lot of people, shake hands. It makes you feel good."
There are so many ways to say it, show it and feel it, but a big "thank you" goes out to all who have and are still fighting for this country to make it a better place for future generations.