Memorial Day ceremony held at Wood National Cemetery to remember all fallen soldiers

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- If you drive down I-94, you've probably seen the fields filled with white tombstones on both sides of the highway. Three-hundred thousand former soldiers are buried at Wood National Cemetery on the Veterans Affairs campus in Milwaukee.

A ceremony was held at the cemetery this Memorial Day. Stories of the first Civil War soldiers ever buried in Milwaukee were told.

"He was wounded and captured at Gettysburg. John Afton was part of a brigade," said guest speaker Tom Mueller. 

Hundreds of people showed up to honor the stories and lives of John Afton, and the thousands of other men buried after him. 

"It is up to us to keep our heroes and their sacrifices alive in our memories," said Duane Honeycutt, the director of Milwaukee's Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Veterans, purple heart recipients and Gold Star families were all in attendance to remember those who gave their life for freedom. Memorial Day is about paying tribute to those no longer here. 

"We've come to understand, the cost of our nations conflict is paid for with the price of our young men and woman," said James McClain, the deputy director of Milwaukee's Veterans Affairs Health Care. 

Before people headed to enjoy the sunshine and a day off work, they say it's important to remember the reason for the holiday at an event like this one. Before wreaths were placed near the color guard, to honor prisoners of war and other fallen veterans, there was also a gun salute and flyover as part of the ceremony. 

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