HONOLULU (KHON) – Fresh flower lei and an American flag were placed at every gravestone at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in honor of the fallen men and women who served and protected the country in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Representatives from each branch of the military, as well as local officials and groups attended the 72nd Mayor’s Memorial Day Ceremony.

“For our service members, the thousands of American flags adorning the graves here today serve as rippling reminders of past sacrifice,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

“When we come together today, and we remember all of those who have served, they’re in our hearts. Hawaii wasn’t even a state when many of these individuals gave their lives for their country,” said Governor Josh Green, also in attendance.

“We can never fully repay those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom. But we can exercise the gifts of freedom and the opportunity they left us. And that is to better serve our community and to strengthen our families,” said Admiral John C. Aquilino of the U.S. Navy.