Amanda Clark, Graphic Staff Writer

Close to one million soldiers have paid the ultimate price in their service to America. Those soldiers were remembered on Sunday evening in a special Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Hills Cemetery in Nashville.

Larry Womack, Commander of the American Legion Post 110, who sponsors the annual ceremony, said Memorial Day was a day to remember those whose lives had been lost.

“It is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service,” he said.

America has been involved in 35 wars, Womack said, with close to one million soldiers being killed.

“That is something we should take time to remember,” Womack said.

The special ceremony on Sunday included a flag raising as well as two prayers, one for our country and one specifically for the Armed Forces. The event also included remarks by Nashville Police Chief Tom Bashore.

Bashore is a retired Captain with the US Army Reserve. He served for 20 years, four of those years as an Airman and the remainder in the Army Reserve, where he retired in 2004. Bashore served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Bashore said it was important to remember veterans everyday, but especially on Memorial Day. He added that it was our duty to remember those who gave their life.

“For them, my patriotic heart bleeds red, white and blue,” Bashore said.

Bashore said hearing the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, or any patriotic song makes him proud. But it  also makes him emotional because of those who gave their life.

Bashore said many people look up to celebrities as heroes. But the true hero, he said, is the soldier.

To honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, we, as citizens, should exercise our right to vote, exercise our freedom of assembly and freedom of speech and other freedoms that were fought, and died, for.

Bashore also said he remembers the families of those who have lost a soldier.

“To them, everyday is Memorial Day,” he said.

The event concluded with Taps played by Gary Rapp, of Nashville United Methodist Church.

Pictured (Above): HONORING SOLDIERS –– Pictured above, Raven Carpenter, a member of Nashville’s American Legion Post 110, places a flag on the grave of a veteran Friday morning at Forest Hills Cemetery. Post 110 placed 645 flags on graves to honor veterans. (Graphic photo by Amanda Clark)