Approximately 100 people attended a Memorial Day service at the Veterans Memorial in front of the new Gloucester courthouse.
"This is a bittersweet day," said guest speaker Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Tamara Olson, because having a Memorial Day comes at the expense of many lives being lost.
But it is very important for military veterans and others to hold services such as this in honor of the fallen heroes, Olson said. She received the Air Force Command Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year award for 2009 and was also the Outstanding Airman of the Year for Langley Air Force Base in Hampton.
Memorial Day began on an informal basis as Decoration Day shortly after the Civil War, Olson said, and many Memorial Day observances began following World War II, with the national day later set as the last Monday in May by Congress.