PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For 108 years, a parade has marched through the streets of Lawrenceville on Memorial Day.

“This day means a lot to me personally because I fought in wars, and I got to come home.”

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Memorial Day is personal for James Martin. He is a veteran, a part of the Wounded Warriors project. He knows many he served with didn’t get to come home.

“As nice as it is for people to come up and say, ‘Thank you for your service,’ and I appreciate it, I really do, I stand here just thinking in memory of those who aren’t here. And all I can do is live for them. That’s the best I can do,” he said.

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While the parade was festive, the feel inside Allegheny Cemetery was much more somber. But the intent was the same: remembering those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice.

“We should honor those who have sacrificed their lives on this day,” one speaker said. “They all made a sacrifice, which is a huge one, the sacrifice of their lives.”

“Today is the day to remember them. To think on the laughs we had, the times we had, the pain and the suffering,” Martin said.

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In Allegheny Cemetery, there are more than 15,000 men and women who have served and are buried. Volunteers place flags, by hand, and their message is very simple — never forget.

Lynne Hayes-Freeland