PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Thousands of people headed to a valley cemetery on Monday to remember their loved ones who gave their life for our freedom.
"We need to honor and respect those that have died for this country and that's what Memorial Day is all about and that's why we're all out here today in some pretty good numbers, I would say," Vincent Anselmo said.
Riders USA and hundreds of volunteers lined Cave Creek Road, greeting and offering respects to the family and friends headed to the Veteran's Memorial Cemetery for the annual ceremony.
"It's emotional and the ride here was very emotional, especially on Cave Creek seeing all the flags and everybody greeting and welcoming," Anselmo said. "It's nice to see."
Over 350 flags on 10-foot poles were planted with a special ribbon displaying the names of those who have given their lives in service.
"It's a little emotional, so we have one for my grandfather and my grandmother, also, we're out here supporting all the veterans who have fought for us and kept us safe," Gina Roberto said.
A flyover with 1940 World War II trainers started the ceremony, followed by the placing of the wreaths and a speech from Sen. John McCain.
"I'm proud of my family that's spent generations in the military, I'm proud of my sons, who are both in the military, but when I meet these particularly WWII veterans who are leaving us, it's particularly moving to me because they represent what in many ways is America's finest hour," he said. "Because of their sacrifice, they made the world a safer Democracy."
Sen. McCain says we each need to continue being thankful and humble to those before us who helped create all that we have now.
"Arizonans for a lot of reasons, including our military bases, including so many military who've retired here, it's a very, very patriotic state and they really turn out for the veterans, not only here but all over the state," he said.
That was evident as thousands of people came out for the annual Memorial Day ceremony.