Comanche County residents gathered at the Cache National Cemetery on Sunday where they paid their respects to those men and women who have fought for the United States. Veterans and civilians, prayed, sang, and told stories about what it meant to put their lives on the line for the nation.
Many in the crowd said these types of ceremonies are necessary, especially in a military town like Fort Sill. There are over two-million people in the United States military and thousands of them are here at Fort Sill. Veterans from World War II to Desert Storm said that community support keeps them going, especially during times of war.
During the ceremony, veterans from World War II, Vietnam and Desert Storm stood "at attention" under the gazebo and lead the crowd of civilians in a moment to honor fallen soldiers. World War II veteran Lester McCracken said he was overcome with emotion when he saw the crowd showing their support for the military.
"They're recognizing the veterans that have passed away and got hurt in the war. I am glad I got to come back from Germany. I just got my feet froze, they said I could never walk. But I made myself walk and never sat down. I just thank each veteran that's here today because if it wasn't for them a lot of people wouldn't be here," said McCracken.
The crowd was also filled with civilians who came pay their respects to those who have fought to make America what it is today: free.
"It's all because of all the soldiers that fought for our freedom in all the wars. That is really honorable. Being Comanche from a warrior society, that's what we do, honor our warriors. So, it was really and honor to come here and do this with them," said Jonathan Poahway.
Debra Prestage has four family members buried at the cemetery. She traveled from Nebraska to attend the ceremony.
"I think it's very important. I hope to bring my children here and get them started coming here to represent our family," said Prestage.
Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran Deborah Simmons said community support is key for soldiers. She said that is why she has a special request of Lawton residents in Memorial Day.
"My challenge to the Lawton community is that each of you go out and say your thanks individually to a soldier that you see walking down the street. If you see them in Walmart or walking down the street in uniform if they have their family. Please tell them thanks because it's so important that they know this country is behind them and really supports them," said Simmons.