North Carolinians honor the fallen on Memorial Day

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People across North Carolina paused Monday to remember the men and women who died protecting our freedom in war. (WTVD)

People across North Carolina paused Monday to remember the men and women who died protecting our freedom in war.

Memorial Day is a time of reflection for the friends and families of those soldiers. We honor their sacrifices and their memories live on in the people they left behind.

Multiple ceremonies were held throughout the Triangle, and the Tarheel Chapter of the Marine Corps League hosted their wreath-laying ceremony.

For 25 years, the Marine Corps League has honored our fallen heroes on the State Capitol grounds and every year, a new veteran comes off the battlefield and joins them.

Staff Sergeant Michael Kacer was injured in Afghanistan, and on Memorial Day, he can't help but remember those who died fighting for our freedoms.

"Back in 2005, I lost five guys from my company in a deployment I wasn't able to go to," Kacer said. "They came home and I ended up burying all five. The day I got injured on June 15th, 2008, I lost my medic and mechanic."

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Kacer lost his arm and sustained other injuries so bad that doctors didn't know if he would survive.

"A rocket landed on the window sill about 10 feet to the left of me," he said.

At the ceremony, he met the only people on the planet who can understand what he's been through... Veterans like 97-year-old Joe Zaytoun, who served in World War II, including Guadalcanal and Guam.

Both men stood on Capitol grounds for the same reason... To remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

"Today's the day they can be honored, they can be remembered, a day most people forget what it's about," Kacer said. "They forget how to disconnect, how to remember, and being able to be part of groups like that and come to events like this where they actually do honor and remember what it's supposed to be about. It's very meaningful."

It's an emotional day as we all remember the sacrifices made for us, our country, and our freedoms.

"It's not about me, it's not about my service, it's about those who didn't have a chance to come home," Kacer said.

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