Thousands gather for Memorial Day ceremonies across the Pacific - KPTV - FOX 12

Thousands gather for Memorial Day ceremonies across the Pacific Northwest

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Across the Pacific Northwest, thousands of people paid their respects Monday to the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

Local cemeteries and war memorials were packed with people who had flags and flowers in hand.

At Willamette National Cemetery several hundred people walked the grounds and heard from several speakers who marked Memorial Day.

"I wanted to honor him, tell him I love him, just wanted to be here," Renee Kimes said. 

Kimes and her sister, Julie Theander, were there to lay flowers on the grave of a loved one. 

"I remember them all the time but just to be in the presence of them and put flowers so somebody knows we love them," Kimes said. 

At the Vietnam Memorial in northwest Portland, the walkways were lined with people sharing stories of loved ones lost during that war. 

Veteran Otto Finnel was there to honor several people, one of which was a childhood friend named Lane Weisman.

"He was a funny kid, always had a good wit and what not," Finnell said. 

For some Monday was an emotional day. As people passed by the names etched in granite the memories of years ago came flashing back.

"These are names on the wall but they are profound relationships," veteran Steve Kernek said.

"Just rub their name, think about them, say something. It makes me feel better," Finnell said.

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