DERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — One of the highest-ranking military leaders in the United States was in the Midstate on Friday.

Ramon Colon-Lopez spoke to Milton Hershey Students for its Memorial Day assembly. Colon-Lopez is the most senior enlisted service member in the US Armed Forces and the primary advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Colon-Lopez asked students and staff to remember the 1.3 million people who gave their lives for our country this Memorial Day weekend.

“This is a time to reflect on all those young men and women that actually step forward to the nation’s call. and the reason they did that is that for many generations before us, someone has done the same for them,” Colon-Lopez said.

“It’s very important for the children to understand that we are defending a constitution, a set of principles and values,” Milton Hershey Alumni Kimberly Elenberg said.

Colon-Lopez joined students after the assembly to the wreath at a ceremony.