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Hundreds pay tribute to fallen heroes at Patriots Point - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds pay tribute to fallen heroes at Patriots Point

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) -

Monday, hundreds of people came aboard the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point for a special Memorial Day ceremony.

It was a somber, emotional tribute for the men and women who have died while serving our country.

"Several years ago, we had a good friend who was killed in Afghanistan," said Erica Thompson, mother who brought children to ceremony. "It was important for me to bring the kids out to this today because I want them to be able to appreciate the freedoms that they have within our country."

180 men died while serving on the USS Yorktown and Laffey, according to Patriots Points officials. So, the warcraft was a fitting place to reflect on this holiday.

"You get to honor the other guys that did not come home," said George McAteer, Vietnam veteran.

The crowd was filled with veterans, many displaying their years of service proudly on baseball caps and shirts.

Robert Dunbar fought in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars.

He says he tries to make it to a Memorial Day service each year.

"To honor those who have died, I've lost a lot of friends over 30 years of service," said Dunbar.

"I four men in the platoon that I was in and I was injured myself in one of the battles," said McAteer.

This year, the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum included a special feature film. The crowd, young and old, watched as faces of men and woman who have died for our freedoms flashed before their eyes.

"It's important for them to realize that freedom isn't free," said Thompson.

The service aboard the USS Yorktown was free. Patriots Point organizers says thousands of people have come out the tour the warcraft and museum this holiday weekend.

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