On Monday, Americans gathered in every state to honor fallen military service members.
Michelle Broder Van Dyke
BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on May 27, 2014, at 2:06 a.m. ET
Ruben Estrella Sr. paused at the grave of his son, Army Pvt. Ruben Esrella, Jr. Monday, May 26, in Fort Bliss National Cemetery near El Paso, Texas. Ruben Estrella Jr. died in combat in March 2003 in an ambush in Iraq.
Amanda Wallace holds her dog, Harley, to get a better view of the Upland Borough Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26, in Upland, Pa. The 9-year-old dog has been dressed up for holidays since he was 9 months old.
Sgt. 1st Class Richard Pinter, who is known as "The Lone Bugler," pauses after playing taps during a service at the Korean War Memorial on Memorial Day, May 26, in Philadelphia.
Korean War veteran Stephen Hopkins (left and Vietnam War veteran Henry Ruszkowski (right) salute during the Memorial Day service at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Members from the armed forces carry a flag out to center field in honor of Memorial Day before the start of a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday in Los Angeles.
As the memorial wreath is being rowed out to the ocean during Sea Isle City's Memorial Day ceremony, John Richardson, from left, Zach McDonald, Bernard Becker, and Tom Roth, fire blanks during a salute in Sea Isle City, N.J.
Navy veteran John Vojtas, of Lemon Grove, places his hand on the columbarium where the remains of his best friend, Jeffrey German, also a Navy veteran, are located at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery before the 114th Memorial Service in San Diego.
During the annual Memorial Day Ceremony held at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla., Haleigh Ramirez, 16, of Mascotte, Fla., stands over the grave of her late uncle U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Ramirez. Ramirez was killed in action in 2004 during Iraq War while serving in the United States Army. Those in attendance gathered on the Assembly Grounds at the Florida National Cemetery to honor those who served in the United States Armed Forces. Haleigh Ramirez who joined the Navy JROTC at South Lake High School was inspired by uncle to one day serve her country like her uncle did.
Bryan Christian Luckey Jr. (left) looks on as his mother Catherine Luckey, 33, center, of Tampa gets a hug from Maria Williams during the annual Memorial Day Ceremony held at the Florida National Cemetery on Monday, May 26. Catherine Luckey's husband U.S. Army Sgt. Bryan Christian Luckey and Maria Williams' son Marine Corps Sgt. Christian Bautista Williams were both killed in action during the Persian Gulf War.
During the Memorial Day ceremony at Bay Pines National Cemetery, Lily Dorsey, 3, of St. Petersburg, Fla., walks through the nearly 34,000 graves marked with American flags to honor the men and women who served the nation. Her dad Stephen Dorsey is a U.S. Army veteran, who served from 2001–2005, and her mom Caroline Dorsey, who was also in attendance is an Air Force officer who's served since 2012. Memorial Day holds special meaning for the Dorseys who always pause during the day to remember Stephen's friend Staff Sgt. Shannon Smith who was killed in Iraq in 2009.
Diana Pike (center) of Alexandria, Va., cries as she pours Jameson Irish Whiskey as a toast on the grave of her son, Navy Chief Christian Michael Pike, of Peoria, Ariz., whose picture lays against his headstone and who died serving in Afghanistan in 2013 at the age of 31, in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery where many of the soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, on Memorial Day in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 26.
Former Army Sgt. Anthony Brown, 31, of Arlington, Va., wipes away tears as he visits his best friend, Army Sgt. Scott Kirkpatrick, on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday. Kirkpatrick died serving in Iraq in 2007 at the age of 27, and is buried in Section 60, where many of the soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried.
Gladys Mena, of Springfield, Va., (center) places flowers on the grave of her nephew, Army Corporal Andy Anderson, on Memorial Day in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 26. Anderson died serving in Iraq in 2006. She is helped by her daughter-in-law Kathy Sandoval and her children Angel Sandoval, 9, and Gabriella Sandoval, 3, in Arlington National Cemetery's Section 60, where many of the soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried.
World War II veteran Arthur Shipe, of Seattle, is greeted by Seattle Mariners players before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Monday in Seattle. Veterans were honored before the game in recognition of Memorial Day.
Natasha Marshall, 22, of Frederick, Md., visits the grave of her friend and high school sweetheart Army Specialist Tyler Hammett, 21, on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 26. Hammett died while stationed in Alabama in December 2014.
A spontaneous prayer circle forms as people visit Section 60, where many of the soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Jocelyn Haywood weeps while her husband Keith holds her hand during the placement of a wreath by their son's name. KeJuan Haywood was one of four names added to the Memorial Wall this year. The annual Memorial Day Observance was held at the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall in Jacksonville, Fla.
Harold Davis, 96 (right) who served in the Marine Corps from 1938–1958, stands and removes his hat during the closing benediction. The annual Memorial Day Observance was held at the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall in Jacksonville, Fla.
Cornell Scaife Jr. visits the grave of his father, Army veteran Cornell Scaife, during Memorial Day at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, Calif.
Hallie Williams-Bey gives a fist bump to the name of Jesse N. Clayton. Clayton was a friend and neighbor of Williams-Bey and preceded him into the Marine Corps. The annual Memorial Day Observance was held at the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall in Jacksonville, Fla.
Family members of World Word II Army veteran Floyd Wiley pray around his grave marker and that of his wife, Florence Wiley, on Memorial Day at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.
Sami Bolton wipes away tears as she sings to Marcus McLain on Memorial Day at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Memphis, Tenn. Bolton, who is in the reserves, served with the active duty McLain as a civilian with the Navy. She said that McLain suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after multiple deployments and took his own life, according to the The Commercial Appeal.
Dressed as Uncle Sam, Gordon Dunn of Pittsfield, Mass., salutes fallen veterans at a memorial held in the town cemetery.
Gil Espinoza visits the grave of his childhood friend, Army veteran Fred Selga, during a Memorial Day at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, Calif.
Victoria L. Coman-Jackson visits the grave of her husband, Dennis Wayne Jackson, after the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, Ala.
President Barack Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on Memorial Day.
First lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, stand with children of fallen service members who traveled to Washington to participate in the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) 20th Annual Good Grief Camp as they wait for President Barack Obama to speak at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of Memorial Day.
John Tuzzolino, president of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Arizona Chapter, salutes during the placing of the wreaths at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona during Memorial Day observances. His daughter, Meghan, 8, (left) looks on.
Ila Rabjohn, Avondale, brushes the grave marker for her son, Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Thomas Rabjohn, at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona Memorial Day observances in Phoenix, Monday. Rabjohn was killed in Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2009, when a roadside IED he was trying to dispose of exploded.
Jason Feimster, of Mocksville, N.C., lies by the grave of his friend, Marine Cpl. Carlos Melendez, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on Memorial Day. Melendez died serving in Iraq in 2011, and is interred in Section 60, where many of the soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried.
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Honolulu.
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