PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Communities throughout the Philadelphia area and beyond set aside time to mark the true meaning of Memorial Day on Monday.
From parades honoring veterans to wreath-laying ceremonies, many set aside the festivities to pay tribute to the lives lost in service and sacrifice.
At Penn's Landing, the annual Memorial Day observance at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial remembered the 648 Philadelphians who lost their lives while serving our country.
When organizers learned the featured singer was unable to attend the ceremony, the crowd joined together in song, belting out the Star Spangled Banner.
The patriotism and love for our country were felt by all of those in attendance, especially those shedding tears for the men and women who are no longer here.
"To honor the dead. It's not for me, mine comes in November. This is for the guys who didn't make it back. They gave their tomorrows for your today," explained Samuel Holbrook, a Vietnam War veteran.
Men and women pay their respects to those named on the wall and beyond.
"If you served in the war, you see it differently than people who did not. So, when we come here, we see our brothers. We may not know many of these people, but we still come here for that reason," explained Gerald Miller, a veteran of the Navy.
Memorial Day ceremonies were planned beyond the Philadelphia area.
Families in Media lined the streets, waving American flags for their Memorial Day parade and ceremony. Veterans marched down State Street to the courthouse, saluting those in attendance.
A plaque in honor of those who later died in the Vietnam War was also unveiled at Monday's ceremony.