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Veterans commemorate fallen soldiers by laying out headstones at Balboa Park

Posted at 12:31 PM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 15:35:46-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In honor of Veterans Day, a group of veterans laid out headstones at Balboa Park for fallen soldiers from San Diego who were killed while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“When you are a veteran you literally sign your name on the line," said Jim Brown.

"You put your life in there if needed, I certainly did and all of us have done that. Some of them don't come home, they die in the field."

As a veteran himself, Barry Ladendorf says it is difficult for him to only honor the Veterans who are still with us.

“When I was coming home from Vietnam, I was on a jet with 250 flagged draped caskets going back to the states, all the way on that flight all I could think about were those families."

So to spread their message about remembering all veterans, they held a memorial service where each veterans' name is read, similar to what people would see on Memorial Day.

They believe Veterans' Day has gotten away from its roots and honoring all service members living and dead is more in line with honoring the commitment each service member makes when they choose to serve in the military.

"Too often we use it as an excuse to do things, go to the beach," said Ladendorf.

"Those are fine but we need to take time to remember those who have died in our wars. And those who have been injured the military hospitals are filled with men and women who suffered injuries in the war."