Thousands honor fallen in annual Florida National Cemetery service

By Dalia Dangerfield, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, May 29, 2017, 6:53 PM EDT

Thousands of family members, friends and loved ones celebrated the nation's fallen heroes at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell on Monday.

At the annual Memorial Day ceremony, U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Kissimmee) said it's important to honor those who have found and died for the country.

"For over 240 years, the U.S. military has protected Americans against our enemies and the enemies of our friends," the congressman from the 10th District said. "Our world has changed, and with it our armed services, but the courage and dignity and the valor of the men and women in uniform is steadfast."

More than 150,000 veterans are buried at Florida National Cemetery, including the husband of Helen Greene.

She attended Monday's ceremony.

"Our veterans paid the price, and this is our way of giving back," Greene said.

Veteran William Lonnroth, 91, also attended the Memorial Day ceremony, one he's attended for the past 17 years. For Lonnroth, the ceremony brings about all kinds of emotions.

His brother is buried at the Sumter County cemetery.

"All these men and women who don't come home, they're the heroes, not us," Lonnroth said.

To honor the fallen, volunteers placed small American flags on each gravesite, where they will wave for the next few days.