Hundreds Gather at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery to Honor the Fallen

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DIXON -- Men and women, young and old, came together at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery to pay their respects on Memorial Day.

The ceremony kicked off with the sounds of a T-38 fighter jet soaring from above.

For many, like Lance and Nancy Feldman, Monday was special.

"Just remembering them, the memory of my dad and her parents, I mean, it brings tears still," said visitor Lance Feldman.

Lance's father, Martin, was a Marine. Nancy's mother and father, Kenneth and Virginia, served in the Navy. All three served during World War II.

"I wish more Americans would understand what all who have gone into the military have sacrificed for us," Feldman said.

Hundreds of volunteers came out to the cemetery this weekend to have the red, white and blue on full display. More than 30,000 headstones were decorated with the Stars and Stripes.

From 1966 to 1968, Army veteran Richard Botello served during the Vietnam War. The veteran made the visit to Dixon to see some familiar names engraved on several headstones.

"Right now I'm looking at my fallen brothers that are here. Some of are my classmates, some that I went to school with, grammar school, high school, junior college," Botello told FOX40.

Botello was one of hundreds of veterans in attendance Monday.

He said you shouldn’t have to wait for a veteran to pass away before paying respect. He wanted everyone to take Memorial Day to say thank you.

"Call them, tell them thank you for their service," he said. "Be sure that if they need anything contact them and make it closer."

Nancy Feldman believes more Americans should use the day to put their differences aside and stand together under one flag.

"It's such a wonderful feeling to know everyone is unified no matter what background they have," she said. "It didn’t matter who was fighting, we were all on the same team."

If you would like to volunteer to help collect the headstone flags, you can visit the National Cemetery Tuesday morning.

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