By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) — Thousands gathered at Fort Logan National Cemetery to honor the men and women who died serving our country. Their tears were shed for different heroes, but on Memorial Day they cry together.

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“When our children and grandchildren ask what these stones mean, we’ll be able to stand up and say we are free today because of those who gave their lives,” said keynote speaker Maj. Gen. Mike Loh, Colorado Civil Air Patrol.

Three generations of the Pareso family made spending Memorial Day at Fort Logan a tradition. James Pareso, his son Tony, and his two grandsons Jason and Cody held a moment of silence at the ceremony together.

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“I wanted to teach them about American history and the meaning of Memorial Day,” said James.

Every year, James attends the ceremony to honor two family members killed in World War II. His son, Tony, is named after his fallen uncle Anthony Pareso.

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Tony taught his oldest son, Jason, that Memorial Day isn’t a holiday for pool parties or barbecues.

“They put themselves before others in the war to help other people survive and be free,” said Jason.

The young boy is old enough to understand the significance of Memorial Day. His younger brother Cody also understands, but had trouble finding the right words to explain his pride.

Cody Pareso (credit: CBS)

“There are ‘veterinarians’ in WWII who died for us,” said Cody.

PHOTO GALLERY: Colorado Memorial Day Celebrations 2019

Volunteers placed places on more than 100,000 flags on headstones ahead of Memorial Day. Additional volunteers will be needed to help collect the flags, Sunday at 9 a.m. at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

Tori Mason

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