Veterans, residents and city, county and state officials honored fallen soldiers during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Faulkner County Courthouse on Monday.
"This is the 150th Memorial Day," County Judge Jim Baker said, standing in front of the Memorial Wall that lists soldiers from the county who gave their lives fighting for this country. "You can always remember where you were on the 150th one."
Mayor Bart Castleberry opened the ceremony with a prayer and helped Baker lead attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.
"It's been a long day of reflection," Sen. Jason Rapert said. "I've been thinking today about the men who died, their families, what they've gone through, their sacrifices. ... On a personal note, I thought of Private Andy Long."
He said Pvt. Long was killed "in an act of terrorism just down the road in Little Rock, Arkansas," for which Long was awarded a Purple Heart posthumously.
"Andy Long was signed up to serve in the war on terror," Rapert said. "And, completely by surprise and unexpectedly, he was gunned down in Little Rock. I got to meet Andy's dad and his mom and the legislature ended up passing Andy's Law, which allows those families to go after those entities that help fund people that commit terrorist acts on American soil."
Rapert went on to read letters home from a couple of soldiers who never made it home.
"My words are just words," he said. "But when I think about that young solider that might have been in a foxhole somewhere, might have been in Vietnam or a tour of duty during World War I or World War II, you think about what was going through their minds. They were thinking of their families, they were thinking of their loved ones and they were thinking of their country they were out there fighting for and what they died for."
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May each year to remember the people who died while serving in the nation's armed forces. It has been observed as a federal holiday since 1868.