Memorial Day in Philadelphia: remembering local heroes who made ultimate sacrifice

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On Memorial Day, Vietnam and Korean War veterans were honored during annual ceremonies in the city.

Each event culminating in the ceremonial laying of wreaths and gun salutes.

At the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial some visitors attaching flowers and other trinkets to some of the 648 names that line the granite.

Flags arranged by the Vietnam Memorial were also set up to represent the more than 600 Philadelphian lives lost during the conflict.

Some veterans stopping by the homage to their brothers-in-arms.

" He was a nice guy, funny, had brothers and sister," said Vietnam veteran James Gray.

The Marine recalling the news of his close friend, Kenneth Pettus, whose sacrifice overseas left a lasting impact.

" We got the information that he had been KIA and it just changed my life," he said.

While hundreds gathered Monday to pay their respects to all the heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice, some still chose to honor in secret.

A letter and two beer cans addressed to veteran James Scott are left annually by a stranger according to a friend and fellow veteran, Paul Aylmer

" I think maybe they were together over in Nam," he said.

Aylmer says his best guess was that it was a pact made between friends, that to this day is being honored.

"Out of respect it stays there," Aylmer pointed out.
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