On Memorial Day, when people come to the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Marana; they know its not just a holiday. Its personal.

For those who have served, or who have family or friends who signed up to live in the line of fire, Memorial Day is a special day to remember lives loved and lost.

In Vietnam Marana Mayor Ed Honea was in a Navy Combat Construction Battalion. He remembered four of his friends killed there.

They didnt get a chance to marry. They didnt get a chance to have a family. They didnt get a chance to celebrate like we are today. And that drives that home to me.

The number of men and women who have died for our country is staggering. The Department of Veterans Affairs has compiled the numbers of dead and wounded all the way back to the American Revolution. You can see the list for yourself by clicking this highlight.

The Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Marana is Arizonas newest. It has been seven years since the first burial there.

Army Veteran Paul Marsh is 92 now. He spent 10 years gathering support to make the cemetery happen.

With one Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery near Flagstaff, and another in Sierra Vista he wanted a more central location for veterans and their families.

What about the rest of us? So we built one up here for all of us and for counties up the road, Pinal County people as well.

David Seia served 27 years in the Air Force. He knows now that the U.S. has an all volunteer military, many Americans have no direct contact with families that serve.

Most folks don’t understand or truly appreciate what their service is about. And I understand that perspective, but it is to teach others that’s why we have a free country. Were grateful and blessed to be part of it.

And at this ceremony, people with a deeper understanding of that service came together to say thanks.