Veterans honored at Columbia Park ceremony - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Veterans honored at Columbia Park ceremony

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Many people gathered at the Regional Veterans Memorial at Columbia Park in Kennewick Sunday to show their appreciation for veterans here and those that have passed on.

People were emotional and deeply moved by the service that gave them a chance to honor the military service that so many have given our country.

Patriotism and gratitude were the common themes that brought people together Sunday showing their thanks for veterans. Former military members bonded and shared their most cherished memories.

"I learned that I had saved somebody's life. And that made my service just so meaningful and so worthwhile," said John Butterfield, former U.S. Navy Captain.

Others came to pay tribute to veterans dear to their hearts.

"My father was in the United States Navy in WWII. I had other relatives in the air force during the Cold War. It's just their memory and their current active service is what brings me out here today," said Scott Brim, who went to the service to honor his military family members.

Throughout the service people acknowledged the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for our country and our freedom.

"We have our freedom today is something that their sacrifice gives us," Brim said.

Those that gave the ultimate sacrifice were on people's mind's and shown in the tears rolling down people's cheeks.

"Many personal friends that have not had a chance to experience life like I have. Their days were short but they served valiantly and I remember them very fondly," Butterfield said.

As the flag was raised Sunday, it stood for so much more than stars and stripes. Instead, for the blood, sweat and tears and so much more that veterans gave for us to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.