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Thousands honor the fallen at Fort Bliss on Memorial Day


POSTED: Monday, May 27, 2013 - 5:05pm

UPDATED: Monday, May 27, 2013 - 7:52pm

From World War II to Afghanistan, hundreds-of-thousands of Americans have died in war while serving and protecting our nation. This Memorial Day, hundreds of families flocked to Fort Bliss to remember those who have fallen.

A hand to wipe a tear away but the gesture doesn't remove the pain.

'It's very sad. Like today, he would have probably wanted to be here," Gracie Silva, an El Pasoan told us.

Gracie is at Fort Bliss remembering her husband.

"He got to be a leader, he was a 1st Sergeant and he got to go to war, he went to the first gulf war," Gracie said of her husband. Silva's husband recently died in December after a lifelong career in the Army.

Like Gracie, Elvira Ponce is here to honor those who passed. "You know, you never forget. You still feel it. Especially on these days," Elvira Ponce said. Her cousin was in the Army. Her brother served in the Navy and died aboard the USS Enterprise. Almost a week later, so did her cousin. Elvira explained that he was shot in the head.

She also said, her cousin and her brother were kindred spirits and did everything together.

"The sad part about it is they always made a comment that if one passed away they would come back for the other one," Elvira explained. They're even buried right next to each other.

"We're really family, Army family," Elvira told us. So much so, her son also joined the Army almost 15 years ago.

"He was proud of what he was going to do... and he thought of our freedom," she explained.

Her son, Felipe Ponce, Junior was in Afghanistan before he was sent back to Fort Bliss.

"He came back sick from cancer and he passed away," Elvira said, wiping a tear away from her face. Felipe died 9 years ago. "He kept saying that he was proud and he was going to make it a life career. But like I say, it was cut short."

His life may have been cut short but his actions are everlasting.

"We always talk about him and in our hearts we'll never forget him," Elvira told us.

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