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EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — Dozens gathered at the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery Monday afternoon to honor the lives of the countless servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The entire cemetery was awash with red, white and blue as thousands of American flags marked the headstones of the men and women who served.

The state’s 49th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony was held beside the Gold Star Family Memorial.

“There are no greater heroes then the brave men and woman who laid down their lives to keep our country safe and free,” Sen. Jack Reed said. “Remember our fallen servicemembers … honor them and ensure their stories of sacrifice and heroism are never forgotten.”

Lynn St. Germain-Lundh knows all too well the importance of honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice — her 22-year-old son’s life was cut short back in 2006. Marine Corporal Brian St. Germain, a graduate of West Warwick High School, was killed during his second tour in Iraq.

“It’s tough,” St. Germain-Lundh said. “But on the other hand, nobody is prouder of their kid than I am.”

St. Germain-Lundh said not a day goes by where she doesn’t think of her son.

“We weren’t lucky,” she said. “But I think it puts into perspective how many men and women have put on the uniform and have gone to battle for me, for you, for all of us normal folk.”

St. Germain-Lundh visits the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery every single year to not only honor her son, but also the millions of others who made the ultimate sacrifice.

While Memorial Day is often considered the unofficial start to summer, St. Germain-Lundh urged everyone to remember what the holiday is actually about.

“You and I can have barbeques, you and I can go to school freely and practice our religions … all because of the men and women who have died,” St. German-Lundh said. “Lets take one day a year to remember them.”

“America got to be the great country it is because of the brave men and women who [defend her],” she continued. “It’s in their hearts, it’s in their souls — that’s what they want to do. It’s pretty amazing.”

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