FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Hundreds gathered in Fayetteville earlier today to celebrate the many men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend the United States of America.

Nearly 500 people gathered at Fayetteville’s Freedom Memorial Park.

Army families from various generations attended the event along with officers and other dignitaries.

The program included various songs, prayers and reflections.

For many service members, the Fayetteville Memorial Day Ceremony was an opportunity to reunite as one.

“Well I was on active duty for two and a half years as an admin, and I was in the military for 22 years and I did participate in the gulf war, the first one,” said veterans Billie and Walter Crutcher.

Those in attendance weren’t all veterans themselves, but had family and friends who were.

“I had my grandson and granddaughter stationed here, my grandson  is in the army,” said attendee Julia Robinson.

Freedom Memorial Park includes more than half a dozen memorials, representing fallen soldiers from different time periods.

Today, wreaths were displayed on each memorial to honor service members

“It’s not just another day to be off of work, hanging out with your family… when you’re with your family, be thankful because there’s people who still don’t know where their families are. Their remains have not been found,” Billie Crutcher said.