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Memorial Day 2018: 'They Gave Up All Their Tomorrows For Our Today'

Every Memorial Day, the members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 10 gather at the Vietnam War Memorial - their memorial - in Eden Park. The program varies from year to year, but the message is always the same: to remember.

"They literally gave up all their tomorrows for our today," board member Tom Stormer told the gathering. He reminded the crowd of how Memorial Day was created and that it's to honor those who died while serving their country.

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Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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These two veterans tell WVXU they met several years ago at the Eden Park Memorial Day ceremony.

Those numbers could fill Great American Ball Park 36 times over, he said.

Ohio Representative from the 32nd House District Catherine Ingram was the guest speaker and kept her remarks short. She began by reciting the first stanza of "My Country Tis Of Thee."

Wouldn't it be nice, she wondered, if we allowed "our children not just to go to the cookout, but if we introduced them to all of these people who have given their lives for the rest of us."

We're all fighting for the same thing, she said, to live a life that says that we belong.

"We have to take care of each other," she said in closing.

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Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

In a new addition to the ceremony this year, the chapter awarded three scholarships to children of veterans.

On the hill behind the memorial, the chapter placed 53 white crosses -- one cross each to symbolize the 50 states and three territories of Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.

Two wreaths were laid by veterans followed by a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. People then came forward to place American and POW/MIA flags at the base of the memorial.

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Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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Participants are encouraged to take their flags to place on a loved one's grave, or place them at the base of the Eden Park memorial.

To see more images of the 2018 Memorial Day ceremony, click on the image at the top of the page.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.