Hundreds honor fallen across San Diego County - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Hundreds honor fallen across San Diego County

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) —Sunday was all about those who laid their lives on the line and with the number of veterans dwindling each year, many present at a Miramar ceremony hope to keep their memory alive. 

"Memorial Day is a very special time," said retired Air Force nurse Vicki Nenner. "We need to remember and honor those who served and lost their lives. They gave the ultimate and we need to recognize that." 

Not wanting to miss a chance to say thanks, many gathered at Miramar National Cemetery for the 6th annual Memorial Day service. 

"It has always been my desire that America pause from your BBQ on Memorial Day weekend and actually honor the people that the holiday or that the day is created for," said Vietnam veteran Joe Brunner. 

Down the avenue of flags, the beautiful day boasted touching tributes from flowers at the graves of the fallen to wreaths and songs like "Amazing Grace." 

The ceremony's featured speaker was Brigadier General Russell Muncy of the Air Force who talked of the loss of veterans.  

"The last war where we were totally involved as a nation was World War II," said Muncy. "We are losing all of those veterans and we're now starting to lose the family members of those veteran; as that occurs I think it is going to be much more challenging you have that connectivity to the military."  

With a prayer and "Taps" playing by bugle, respects were paid.  

Also honored was World War II U.S. Navy chaplain Henry Austin known as "Hammerin' Hank."  

He served with the U.S. Marines during the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.  

"We were given the flag a replica of the flag at Iwo Jima... he was under the flag giving communion when the boats came and hit the beaches at Iwo Jima," said Henry's son Dave Austin. 

At the Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe the family wanted the flag shown to remember his heroism. 

"It's something so important to us - and now with so much different kind of conflict going on - we realize how much we appreciate the land we live in," said Henry's widow Deen Austin. 



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