Decorated veterans fill the Allenwood Independent Living community in South Burlington.
"I am extremely proud of this one; this is a Silver Star," Bruce Cram said.
Bruce Cram served in World War II and Korea, and was honored with a Silver Star.
"Flying against the Germans and doing ground support and risking my life to try and save the ones that are on the ground," he said.
But not all those who served America in uniform made it home.
"Oh, I think about friends I have lost," said Foster Cowey, a Korean War veteran.
Thursday, folks at Allenwood came together to celebrate the heroes among them and to remember the men and women who died in uniform.
"We have a lot owing this country, to owe this country, and when they need us, we should do it," Cowey said.
"It is nice to be honored and celebrated," Cram said, "but Memorial Day is for the ones that died."
A message residents Stillman and Ruth Copp say is important for young people to remember.
"Their lives have been touched and improved in many ways because of what these men did," Ruth Copp said.
"They should attend more Memorial Day services. They could learn what it's about," said Stillman Copp, a World War II veteran.
These veterans know the meaning behind the holiday well and feel blessed to still be here to share their stories, even if they come with an occasional twist.
"We tell a lot of stories," Cram said. "I think some of them are stretched."
What's not open for debate is the appreciation their loved ones have for their service...
"God bless you, I am glad you are here," Ruth Copp said.
...And the appreciation these men have for the friends they lost.
"I would like to say thank you for your sacrifice," Cram said. "They gave their ultimate sacrifice for us. They're the one who preserved our independence and our freedom, we are just enjoying it."
Each veteran at Thursday's service was invited to share their stories and pictures on a special wall of honor.
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