Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm - 383 service members died. Ken Hoksbergen read a poem about the origin of poppies becoming widely recognized as the flower of remembrance for those who served the country and passed away.
Invited to speak to high school students in Allentown, Pennsylvania, she said she told them, "What is the true meaning of Memorial Day?"
"It's not about Memorial Day sales or Barbeque or spending time at the beach, the day is to give back a little bit for those who have secured the freedoms we enjoy in America, " said Officer Larson.
"While listening to the radio on Friday I kept hearing "happy Memorial Day" and about mattress sales", said Stephen Knock, VFW Post 9401 commander.
The American Legion Post 18 in Bloomington honors Memorial Day each year at Rose Hill Cemetery. "Most people are cooking hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill tomorrow".
Veterans Day, on the other hand, was originally called Armistice Day, which commemorated the end of fighting in World War I - you may have heard before that it happened on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918.
The day was also referred to as Memorial Day starting in the 1880s, but it officially remained Decoration Day until it was renamed by federal law. "We will always remember the sacrifice our veterans made for us", Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin said.
Later in the morning, against the backdrop of downtown's All Wars Memorial, another throng of veterans gathered to observe the solemn holiday. Under each of these crosses lies a loved one, a hero - someone who sacrificed for each of us.
Post 12 American Legion members stood at attention with the rest of the crowd as "God Bless America" was sang by Lacie Carpenter and Kelsey Pate before the retiring of the colors and the close of the ceremony.
They're still raising money for the Vietnam War Education Center.
"The support from the community to recognize those who serve and those who have paid the ultimate sacrfice is just.it means a lot to someone in the service like myself", said North Dakota National Gurard Adjutant General Alan Dohrmann.
"Those who are over 40 say "thank you for your service" but those that are under are the ones coming out here and wanting beer and propane to party", he said. In 2017, Memorial Day will be on May 29th. The Treasure Valley Young Marines spent much of May 27 decorating graves at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery and later today, a formal ceremony involving all branches of the armed services will be held at the cemetery, beginning at 10 a.m.
"Past history has tried to regulate the status of those who gather and for men those who hunt", he said. "We are truly fortunate to live in a country worth dying for".
"We should do all the things we want to do and should do, so go and do them", he added.