Hundreds out for Memorial Day at Veterans Memorial Cemetery, first time since 2019

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UNION GROVE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- At the cemetery next to the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Home, people came out to honor those who died in the service, as well as veterans no longer with us for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds came out to the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery to honor those who gave their lives for the country.

Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery Director Lee Kelley read off the death tolls of the major conflicts throughout American history, more than 2.8 million soldiers have died in conflicts since the start of the country.

Those are the ones Memorial Day is supposed to honor.

Vietnam Army Veteran Jim Michael helped present the Battlefield Cross, a memorial made by soldiers in areas of conflict when they're unable to attend their fellow soldier's service.

He said seeing everyone out for events like these again gives him new hope,

"It gives me new faith in the country, it's amazing and it's filled every year, I've been out here quite a few years and it's really neat to honor those who died serving our country and loving our country," said Michael.

Marina Johnstone, operations program associate at the cemetery, said it's good to be back having services like these -- the last of which happened in 2019.

"You hear it every single day with families coming up to you, and I appreciate being able to help so many "People and honor all these amazing people here," said Johnstone.

She says all the collaboration starting back in February to bring together the pipers, band, and donations of flowers and refreshments is all to honor the lives lost.

People like Linda Daniels, visiting the grave of her late husband Dennis Daniels with family today, say they're grateful to see how much everyone cares.

"It feels like I'm close to him, it's the only way I can say it," said Daniels.

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