SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) — Veterans, families, and public officials came together Monday to honor service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for America; that includes more than 3,600 fallen heroes from New Mexico.

Ceremonies took place across the state in remembrance of those who gave all for our country. Dozens of people came out to the Santa Fe National Cemetery to pay their respects to those who sacrificed for our country.

“On this solemn day together, we have gathered to remember courageous men and women,” said Senator Ben Ray Lujan, (D-New Mexico).

This Memorial Day, people gathered on the Santa Fe National Cemetery’s lawn in solemn remembrance of the many service men and women who served our country.

“Military service often comes with immense sacrifice. We must never forget the stories and the histories of our brave men and women,” Lujan said, “Those of you that have served and that still serve today represent the best of our nation.”

Federal, as well as local officials, spoke about the meaning of Memorial Day: “As much as we all like a good barbeque and the start of the summer, this weekend is about more than that,” explained Major General Miguel Aguilar with the New Mexico National Guard, “I’m going to ask you to open your hearts in gratitude. Gratitude to know that 1.2 million service members swore an oath to defend the constitution of the United States and gave their lives doing so.”

Some at the ceremony told News 13 about their close personal connections to this day: “My father who was in World War I who served in France is buried here. My brother Richard who served in the Navy is buried here. My brother was also in the Marine Corps and is buried here,” said Imelda Delgado, who attended the Memorial Day ceremony.

“What brings me out here is to visit my brother, my uncle, my father-in-law, and my mother-in-law,” said Claire Pino, who also attended the ceremony, “We come each year to preserve and reunite with them and their spirits.”

“We’ve been coming out here to Santa Fe Cemetery for about 35 years. Since I was a young boy, my grandmother had a tradition to coming up to visit my grandfather’s grave,” said Nate Sterba, an attendee at the ceremony.

All said this day holds special meaning in remembering our service men and women. “It means all the wonderful memories and the sacrifices they made, not only for their country but for all of us,” Delgado concluded.

After the ceremony, the crowd broke off to pay their respects to different grave sites; some also brought flowers for the unmarked graves.