Killeen is in a unique position when it comes to patriotism and the desire to pay tribute to those who've served and sacrificed for our nation.

Not only are we in Texas, a state that's traditionally been inclined to support our troops, but Fort Hood is right here. We welcome new soldiers frequently, and many choose to stay here as they transition back into civilian life.

We're also home to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, which is a beautiful monument to the men and women who've served our nation. Each holiday season, they invite families and volunteers to lay wreaths at soldiers' graves to make sure they aren't forgotten.

They'll be doing the same this Memorial Day weekend, and you're invited to help if you'd like.

There are two events planned for this weekend.

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On Saturday, May 29, members of the public are invited to visit the cemetery and help place flags on graves. Staff at the cemetery will be handing out bundles of flags, so all you need to do is show up and be willing to help. The event starts at 8AM.

On Sunday, May 31, local veterans and families will place wreaths on the graves, and there'll be a special Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery's Assembly Area with special Keynote Speaker Lieutenant General (R) J.T. Thomson.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the public won't be able to attend the ceremony in person, but you can watch on the Killeen Daily Herald's Facebook page.

I want to be sure to make note of something important here.

While it's always great to thank our living veterans and active duty military for their service, Memorial Day is not Veterans Day.

It is a day set aside specifically for memorializing those who've died in service to their country.

So, there'll be sales, barbecues, and fun events going on, and that's fine. We honor those who've fought and died for our liberties by enjoying those liberties, and I don't see anything wrong with it.

That said, we should all take a moment this weekend to pay our respects in some way.

If you can't make it out to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, perhaps observe a moment of silence, visit the grave of a soldier in your family, or just think for a moment about all those who've paid the ultimate price so that we can enjoy life and liberty here at home.

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