Memorial Day started as a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, and in 1971 Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.
Monday, those who lost their lives were remembered in the Brazos Valley. Veterans and servicemen gathered to honor those serving and those who have served.
"These are men and women that served our country gave a good portion of their life for our country and they're here to reflect upon their comrades who have gone on this morning," Lt. General John Van Alstyne and Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Commandant said.
Over 2000 Americans have died in the War on Terror; thousands of others injured. These veterans remembered the soldiers who recently perished along with those who died at their side.
"Because they paid such a dear price is the reason we're free to all this," veteran Loren Duncan said.
"Thank them for what they did, the world is a fundamentally different place then it would have been if they would have not gone and served," Lt. General Van Alstyne said.
As patriotic songs filled Bryan's American Legion Post 159, veterans reflected on what the day means to them.
"Memorial Day is a tough day," Lt. General Van Alstyne said. "It is a time to reflect on soldiers you've led, the soldier's you've lost, friends you've been with, and it's a day of reflection."
It’s a day to remember those who fought for our freedom.