Rain stayed away from Harris Street Park in Kilgore Monday, where veterans and community members gathered at the Veterans Memorial Wall to honor American soldiers killed in the line of duty.

By 9 a.m. Monday, a crowd of dozens had arrived at the park for a program including patriotic music, remarks from veterans and the reading of accounts written by soldiers killed in combat.

Kilgore Veterans Association committee chairman and Vietnam veteran John Edney thanked guests for attending despite the poor weather and noted the day was an occasion for remembrance.

"We want to remember and honor those veterans, those soldiers, that gave their lives for our freedoms and we want to stand here today to remember them," Edney said.

"That's very important that we keep doing this every year to keep this remembrance going on and on. Our children's children can do this for us."

Following Edney's comments, Mitzi Buck Hartfiel stepped up to the podium to perform several songs, including "God Bless America" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Kilgore Police Department Officer Angela Burch performed “Taps” to close the service while members of the Kilgore Fire Department acted as the day’s Color Guard.

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