SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Memorial Day Ceremony at the Santa Barbara Cemetery included a reminder of just how many veterans who have passed away were surrounding this gathering.
"In total we have over 4, 500 veterans buried in this cemetery," said Co.l Philip Conran, USAF (Ret.)
All branches of the military were recognized in the event sponsored by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.
Their theme songs were played and those who served were asked to stand.
Sgt. Major John Canley UCSM (Ret.) just returned from Korea where he met with Marines. He received his Medal of Honor in a ceremonial presentation after the official ceremony last October for his heroic service in the Vietnam war.
"Even if the odds are ten to one as long as that leadership is there and as long as that desire is there and if you make sure that they have the best equipment in the world, they would never ever lose and I guarantee you that," he said.
About a thousand people attended the morning event. "They have the spirit, they have the love of country that is so important now adays," said Conran.
The ceremony used this day to talk about unity and patriotic support to over come divisiveness.
Conran said, "It brings us (together) as one country. We have so much division in our country. I am sure if you separated the people you would have so much division but today they are all one."
The Santa Barbara Choral Society performed many patriotic songs, some the audience sang to.
Many who attended spent time afterwards placing flowers and flags at grave sites nearby.
The cemetery had hundreds of flags lining the interior streets and adjacent to burial plots.