Veterans remembered at Memorial Day services - WSMV Channel 4

Veterans remembered at Memorial Day services

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Clifford Berutti, retired U.S. Coast Guard, salutes each soldier interred at Nashville's National Cemetery. Clifford Berutti, retired U.S. Coast Guard, salutes each soldier interred at Nashville's National Cemetery.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Thousands across Middle Tennessee paused Monday to honor the memories and reflect on the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for our country.

Dozens of Boy Scouts placed American flags beside each of the 35,000 veterans' graves at the National Cemetery in Madison.

"It's hard to be at a national cemetery like this and see so many graves," said Clifford Berutti, retired U.S. Coast Guard.

Berutti spent the morning walking the grounds at the National Cemetery, stopping at each grave to salute the fallen.

"Every cemetery I go to on Memorial Day, you see the flags. And it's an hour out of my day, maybe more, but it just makes me feel good to be able to show my respect to those who served," he said.

Berutti held back tears as he looked out on the sea of decorated graves.

"I see my brothers in arms. I see people who have dedicated themselves to their country, which is their service. I see honor. I see respect. And I see devotion to duty," he said.

And at the Wilson County Courthouse, heavy rain didn't stop hundreds of people from attending the annual Memorial Day Service.

One by one, organizers read the names of the 224 fallen heroes from Wilson County who have died serving their country.

"We're here to honor heroes, remember heroes and we have some really champion heroes in this county," said retired Lt. Col. Jim D. Henderson, who served 31 years in the U.S. Air Force. "This just a small representation of the actual number of casualties."

Karyl Haynes knows all too well the importance of Memorial Day.

"It means a lot to me that our girls know and remember what today really is about," she said.

Haynes served eight years in the Navy and is now passing those lessons of service and sacrifice onto a new generation through Girl Scout Troop No. 466.

"It's about remembering those who have come before," Haynes said. "I'm very grateful for the country that I live in, and the sailors and soldiers that I've served with, and those that came before me and risked their lives for the freedoms we enjoy."

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