Families, Friends Honor Fallen Soldiers At 45th Infantry Museum - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Families, Friends Honor Fallen Soldiers At 45th Infantry Museum

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It was a somber ceremony highlighting the ultimate price some of the finest men and women have made throughout the country's history to preserve freedom. It was a somber ceremony highlighting the ultimate price some of the finest men and women have made throughout the country's history to preserve freedom.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Hundreds showed up to pay their respects and honor America's fallen soldiers on Memorial Day at the 45th Infantry Museum Monday. It was a somber ceremony highlighting the ultimate price some of the finest men and women have made throughout the country's history to preserve freedom.

"Not too many minutes in the day that go by that we don't think about him," said Corey Thompson. "It's so hard."

Thompson and his wife were among 19 Oklahoma families that lost loved-ones since the September 11th terrorist attacks. The 45th honored their fallen brethren with a moment of silence and a reading of their names. Fourteen were killed in the last year.

The Thompson's son, Corporal Michael Thompson, died when an Army helicopter went down in Iraq in 2008. They said it was a day they can never forget.

"Nothing is ever the same after the knock on the door and everything in life changes," said Thompson.

The message from veterans Monday was to take care of the families of fallen soldiers whether it happened in Vietnam or in the Global War on Terror.

"It's an outstanding thing to do and to help us remember people," said Jim Allman, a Vietnam veteran. "When we were quiet, I did remember individuals who didn't come back and I think about their families."

With less than 1% of the population enlisted in the armed services, some said there seemed to be a disconnect that leads to under-appreciation. Memorial Day serves as a time to pause and put that into perspective, especially for younger generations and those who do not personally know a service member.

"During our deployment in Afghanistan, we lost 14 soldiers. Every one of those is a personal loss to the family right here in Oklahoma," explained Col. Joel Ward, Commander of the 45th IBCT. "It's important that we remember those losses."

For those families that know the ultimate sacrifice first-hand, however, remembering is not just a once-a-year occurrence.

"Our son and probably everybody else's sons or daughters that are in the service, it was something that they really enjoyed doing and you have to honor that," said Dawn Thompson.

Her husband added, "There's just not words to say how proud we are of all of their sacrifices."

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