SEATTLE -- All across Western Washington, people turned out on Memorial Day to remember and honor the service members who gave their lives for the county.
"Honoring those that served before us, honoring those that served and made it, twice a year we get to do this so it's pretty important," said Douglas Russell, referring to Memorial Day for the fallen and Veteran's Day for all veterans.
Headstones with a single American flag line the hillside at Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park in Seattle.
For some families, the annual flag-placing has become a tradition that parents have passed on to their kids through generations.
"I've done it every single year ... my great-grandpa is over there, by the doughboys," said a young boy, referring to the nickname given the American soldiers in World War I.
In the South Sound, a 21-gun salute was fired off at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to honor fallen comrades.
And in Mill Creek, dozens surrounded the veterans monument at Library Park, with many paying their respects with carnations.
"Some people will be out having picnics later today but I think this memorial here in Mill Creek is an important reminder of the importance of this day and all who we've lost in service to our country," said Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.
Whether it was attending a parade, placing a flag, or simply taking a moment to reflect, people spent the day remembering the 'memorial' in Memorial Day and the sacrifices of our fallen heroes.
"We can't forget," Russell said. "Once we start forgetting, we start forgetting who we are as a country."