Thousands come out to Indiantown Gap National Cemetery to honor the fallen

EAST HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. -- Almost 50,000 veterans are buried at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Lebanon County.

Sunday their families, friends and loved ones honored those heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to their country with an annual Memorial Day ceremony.

Jody Sollenberger, from Mechanicsburg, said, "We have been coming here for 33 years, and it's truly a great honor."

Every seat at the ceremony was filled.

Jim Metcalfe, the director of Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, said, "When I see the community come out like this and support us like this, it's just overwhelming. It really is."

People who lost their loved ones came out to honor them and keep their memories alive.

Karen Rosenberry, from Chambersburg, said, "All the people here died to keep us safe, just like my husband did, which is nice. But then again it's not nice that you lose somebody you love."

Surviving veterans were also honored at the ceremony from serving in the Cold War, to the War on Terror.

James Antonio, from Minersville, served in the Army in World War II.

He said, "I was in the invasion. I was only 18 years of age when I went down."

Officials said for this cemetery every day is Memorial Day.

Metcalfe said, "Being a VA national cemetery, only veterans are eligible to be interred here. These are the men and women that have fought and defended our rights, and so we want to remember them. We want to thank them for our liberties, and the rights we have, and the choices we can make every day."

The most important thing visitors said to do is keep their loved ones' names alive, so the next generation knows the sacrifices that were made for this country.

Sollenberger said, "Because if we don't, they always say a person dies twice: once when they take their last breath, and the second time when we do not speak their name anymore."