EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Some El Pasoans observed Memorial Day by gathering at Concordia Cemetery to honor fallen military members.
At least 270 veterans are buried in Concordia Cemetery. They are just some of the few who were honored Monday.
“We enjoy so many freedoms that so many other nations will never enjoy and I think it’s important for people to just take a minute and bow your head and say thank you because their service and sacrifice deserves to be remembered,” said John Ceballos, president of the El Paso Chapter 82nd Airborne.
Ceballos said Memorial Day is a day to help remember what these fallen heroes did and never let their death be in vain.
“We feel that every veteran regardless of what conflict what war, their service and sacrifice needs to be remembered and that’s why we are here today,” he said.
At Concordia Cemetery, the veterans buried there date back to the 1800s, some with headstones that need to be replaced. While the Veteran’s Association will provide military headstones, money needs to be raised to install them.
“Many no longer have family or friends that can come and honor them, so we come back and we pay tribute,” said Ceballos.
During Monday’s commemoration, there was a special tribute to Buffalo Soldiers from the 19th Century. Forty-one Buffalo Soldiers are buried at Concordia Cemetery. Some of those in attendance helped build a monument that now stands at the cemetery.
“Without them, none of us would have enjoyed the success in the military that we have enjoyed. That’s why I say, they are our heritage and we are their legacy. We have to keep going the things that they started,” said Buffalo Soldiers MC President Bill Morgan.
Non-profits continue to help create a place to remember veterans from Buffalo Soldiers to those needing a new headstone.
According to the Concordia Heritage Association Military Headstone Project, installing each headstone costs $125 and it costs $30 for the documentation to prove the veteran that needs a headstone is in fact a veteran.
You can donate to help provide headstones for veterans that need to be replaced by donating here and writing Military Headstone Project in the notes section.