Many visit Fresno Memorial Gardens to pay respect to veterans

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- 1,400 US flags along the Avenue of Flags welcomed guests to the Memorial Day service at Fresno Memorial Gardens.

This was a day to pay respects to those who died while serving our country.

"All gave some but some gave all. They gave their very lives for us so that we could come out on a day like this and pay honor and respect to them," said Lt. Col. Bob Smith.

Organizers wanted to avoid holding a large gathering during a pandemic so the crowd was much smaller than usual.

But they came to salute the service of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Cruz Cuellar received a Purple Heart after being wounded during the Vietnam War.

"During that whole year, there were 25 guys in the company that got killed so it brings a lot of memories for me and we'll always remember them," Cuellar said.

A POW/MIA table honored those still missing.

It was a time to reflect on those service members who never came home.

"I think about them every day because they come to my mind and especially during our anniversary date. We had that firefight so I remember," said Cuellar.

This year's Avenue of the Flags honoree was well-known among Valley veterans.

Sgt. Ray Ramos recently passed away. For 20 years at various events, he played "Taps" on his bugle.

"What a dedicated, dedicated patriotic soldier he was," said Lt. Col. Bob Smith.

This was the 58th year the Memorial Day services were held at the cemetery.

Next year organizers expect to hold a much bigger event - the kind families are used to at Memorial Gardens.

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