Memorial Day Ceremony at VA Hospital Near Wilkes-Barre

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It's a tune we've all heard before but for veterans in the Memorial Day ceremony at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center. The melody of taps never loses its meaning.

"I've grown to learn from a young Private myself, learning what the military really means, what we truly do for the community and it's about being a part of something that's bigger than yourself," said Major Cliff Morales of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

Morales was the keynote speaker and after he was done he stopped to shake every veteran's hand.

"Because those are all the people that went before me that gave the opportunity to do this job. I've only gotten to do this job for the years I have because they started it," said Morales.

For veterans in the crowd, the ceremony carried on extra meaning because so many have passed on before them. Service members say 1.2 million members of the military have died in action since the Revolutionary War.

"I was originally in Africa, D-Day, all over Europe, into Czechoslovakia," said Johnny Wrazien, World War II Veteran.

Wrazien was an infantry man in the Army during World War II for four years. He says there's not a day that goes by where he isn't reminded of the friends he made there.

"We had the buddy system. Everybody was involved so when thanking them, you're thanking me and showing that we haven't forgotten," said Wrazien.

These veterans will be honoring the lives of their friends and families who have given so much for our country on Monday too.