SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. - Fort Huachuca's history reaches back almost as far as the day we now know as Memorial Day.
At Fort Huachuca, Memorial Day is a day to remember with flags and flowers. The first soldier was buried there in 1878, just ten years after what was originally called Decoration Day urged people to decorate the graves of men killed in the Civil War.
Marsha Moon helped place a wreath on behalf of Gold Star parents, parents who lost a child in the service. Her son Chris died in Afghanistan eight years ago.
She says, "This day is definitely a day where you want to just stop and reflect. There are so many families that have lost a loved one because of war and not until I lost my son do you realize the significance of where our freedoms come from because of him and many others and my loss is not the only loss."
Fort Huachuca Chief of Staff Colonel Douglas Woodall knows anyone who's spent much time in the service has probably lost some good friends.
"I've lost many over the wars of the past 20 years and I think for those who haven't, don't know somebody personally it's an opportunity to reach out and connect to those who have."
Patricia Trickett has served in the Army and Air Force Reserve. She brings her children to learn the lesson in the gravestones.
"My daughter asked me, 'Why do we do this?' So that we can have the freedoms. We can do this. She can grow up knowing she can be whatever she wants to be."
Tradition says the rifle salute is a signal you have cared for your dead and are ready to fight again while Taps is played at the end of every soldier's day to say it's time to rest.
For more on military funeral traditions that also apply to Memorial Day visit this page from the Army’s Military District of Washington, DC.