GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Col. James Saenz, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, Gold Star mom Carrie Farley and Col. Bryan Rudacille, commander of the 7th U.S. Army Joint Multinational Training Command, lay a wreath during a Memorial Day celebration, here, May 23.

More than 100 Soldiers, civilians and family members gathered to pay tribute to the brave men and women of the armed forces.

Rudacille addressed the crowd, recognizing the heroes of past, present and future.

"Since the very beginning of our nation, no generation of Americans has been spared the responsibility of defending freedom by force of arms," said Rudacille. "Forty million American men and women have answered the call to duty, all committed to defending a set of ideals and willing to sacrifice their lives in the belief that some principles are worth living, fighting and even dying, to preserve."

Rudacille reminded the crowd that there was room to both remember and celebrate during Memorial Day weekend.

"We remember and honor those who lived for their country and our valued way of life," he said. "At the same time we celebrate those things that are valued and treasured in a free society: faith, family, liberty and the opportunity to pursue happiness."