It was a ceremony to remember at the Garden Club in Panama City. Veterans and supporters of all ages gathered at the granite memorial wall with names of Bay County military who have given their lives while serving their country.
"I've watched a lot of military families suffer throughout the years," said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Jack McDougall. "I think the military knows more than just about anybody what Memorial Day means about the military that have given it all."
The keynote speak, Navy Commander Captain Scott Pratt made a strong point to those in attendance - pushing the importance of remembering those who have fallen today and every day.
"In today's society, folks are busy, and they sometimes take things for granted," Pratt said. "I think our freedoms is one of those things that often times we tend to take for granted."
For AmVet Post 2298 Commander Rocky Bradford, the event is just one way to show his appreciation for his brothers in the armed forces.
"That flag is a symbol of our freedom, we honor it and we cherish it from the very first," Bradford said. "Personally, I could never describe the feeling I get when we're putting that flag up every time."
However, more important than the ceremony itself was the purpose behind the day: honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
"Toda is the type of day where we want to sit back and reflect on the costs to protect those freedoms," said Pratt, "and the cost is high."