The photos in this story were made possible by the sacrifice of veterans whose graves were marked with flags at Willow River Cemetery, at Arlington National, Normandy and Ardennes, in Flanders Field and in cemeteries across the country and world in company with all the veterans who are missing (estimated 140,000) and those that are still with us. What they fought for and died for we enjoy every minute of every day that we draw a breath of air in this country.

Umbrellas several rows deep gathered respectfully around those flags and graves on Monday, Memorial Day to pay tribute to all veterans, their families and friends for their sacrifice.

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It was a somber occasion at Willow River Cemetery in Hudson meant to give those in attendance time to reflect on the cost of freedom, the courage of conviction and the grace of humility.

As former President Barack Obama noted, it is a debt we can never repay but it is also a legacy we must always remember, honor and share forward with generations who have never known a world war, a Korea or a Vietnam.