With Old Glory and the Pennsylvania State flag blowing in the wind, Harrisburg Police Color Guard members paraded in symbols of our freedom.
Rabbi Ron Muroff began services with an opening prayer. "Over and over again, it has been proven that freedom is not free,” he said. “And, many, oh so very many, have laid down their lives and left behind unfinished dreams."
Although Americans live free, it doesn’t come without a cost. Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said his grandfather would often share stories of war and describe its hardships. He said it is a major reason why this holiday means so much.
"I miss my grandfather very much,” he said. “Memorial Day has a special place in my heart."
Papenfuse and City Councilwoman Sandra Reid, a veteran, both lay a wreath underneath the World War I memorial at Front and Cumberland Streets.
While many people get wrapped up in the fun of a day off, Reid said there is more to the holiday than picnics, cookouts, and Artsfest.
"It's much more, it's much more,” she said. “It's the time when we actually take our time out and remember the sacrifices for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. So, that we can have the Artsfest and all of those things. So, it's very important."
Papenfuse said we should feed the souls who allowed us to enjoy the taste of freedom.
"We can take solace today, that the men and women we salute…did not die in vain, he said."