TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The annual Memorial Day ceremony was held Monday morning at Veterans Park in Tuscaloosa to honor men and women who served in the military and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb was a guest speaker at the event and says paying tribute to fallen soldiers and sailors once a year is something he looks forward to. Webb is also a veteran who enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 17.

“To those who gave it all in service, we owe them all and all we do, let us act in respect today and every day to pay respect to these brave Americans in their sacrifice that we may be free,” Webb said.

Memorial Day is also special for Linda Verty, a veteran who served in the United States Navy from 1977 to 2008.

“I think it was by the grace of God I got to go into the military and help people and fight for my country,” Verty said. “They told me if you have to go, you go and I knew what I had to do.”

Many say it was a somber day, but honoring those who gave their lives for their country is necessary. John Trotter served in the Army and did a tour in Vietnam in 1970.

“I am proud to have served and I would do it again if I had to,” Trotter said. “I am proud that the men and women who come back today are getting the recognition and honor that they deserve.”

The annual program is presented by the Veterans Memorial Park Association, Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and The University of Alabama Office of Veteran and Military Affairs. The ceremony has been taking place in Tuscaloosa since 1969.