CROWNSVILLE, Md. — Cities and towns across the state paid their respects to soldiers who died protecting our country.
Crownsville, in Anne Arundel County, was one of those towns hosting its annual Memorial Day celebration.
At the 103-acre Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Crownsville, near the center is a one-acre family cemetery dating back to 1875.
Many veterans acknowledge the hard facts of conflict that men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country.
“It's sad that we lost, as Americans that we've lost, as many lives to keep freedom. It shouldn't have to be like this but it is,” veteran David Ryan said.
Of the hundreds of veterans who came to Monday’s ceremony, some served as far back as World War II.
Ralph McIntyre, who was was on an escort ship in World War II, said that under his watch they never lost a ship.
Even though McIntyre is three months away from his 98th birthday, the memories of World War II are still fresh in his mind.
"It was hard on your nerves because kamikaze planes, they flew day and night. You didn't get much rest,” McIntyre.
Veteran Bill Faxon, who started has service in 1969 in Vietnam as a Navy Aviation Ordinance Chief, said he dealt with weapons and explosives.
He served all the way until 1982 at the Iranian hostage situation.
Memorial Day is always a solemn day for him.
“Because I've had men die in my arms and others, have too,” Faxon said. “None of them are buried here but you go out to the fields and see people buried there. You think of their families and you think of the service and dedication those men and women gave.”