About 1, 500 people, along with Mayor Sylvester Turner and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, gathered to pay tribute to the heroism of the lost military lives at the Houston National Cemetery on Monday.

“You teach us that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” Rev. Sean Horrigan said during the Memorial Day prayer, addressing families gathered at the cemetery’s hemicycle. “Today we remember and honor those who have given their lives so that we might know freedom, peace.”

 

A member of the Houston Highlanders Pipe Band performs a solo on the section Q of the Houston National Cemetery on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Houston. Photo by Marie D. De Jesus, Houston Chronicle

 

A formal ceremony was held and lasted about an hour and a half and featured cannon salutes, helicopter fly-overs, the presentation of colors and a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace,” among other traditions and speeches.

Volunteers handed out red roses throughout the morning, or placed them on graves, as families navigated through rows of headstones to find their loved ones.