The last Monday in May is when the military community and their loved ones come together to pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in battle during military service.Countless families have suffered this immense loss include families at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG). Because of the nature of the work, testing equipment for the warfighter, many of the YPG workforce are former military themselves and some come from a long line of Soldiers.Explosive Technician Michael Henderson served four years in the Marines during Operation Iraqi Freedom, his father Gary served in the National Guard, and his grandfather Paul Henderson served in 1944 during World War II (WWII). Tragically the elder Henderson did not make it home from war. The newlywed left for Foreign Service just a month after marrying and three months later was killed in action on February 10, 1945 in an air raid over Mindoro. Henderson was a bombardier on a B-29.Henderson knows very little about his grandfather’s time in service…his father never spoke of it. He only learned about his grandfather’s service when his father sent him a newspaper clipping.Ordnance Technical Operator Terry Fisher’s family also felt the pain of family members not returning home from war. In total more than a dozen of his family members have served in the Armed Forces, four of which served in WWII.“All four of them entered into the National Guard and within a six month period, they are engulfed in war.”Three of the men, Adam, Percy and Candelario (Candy) Cano where brothers and the fourth was their nephew Orland Cano. Candy and Percy were both wounded in battle: Candy received three Bronze Stars and a Silver Star, Percy received a Silver Star for his actions as well. Both brothers returned home: tragically their brother Adam and nephew Orland did not.“Those are uncles you will never know who were men of valor. They just never came back. They are buried over there.”Adam was killed in France and Orland ended up joining Merrill’s Marauders and was killed in Burma.Fisher’s Aunt Diana has preserved the family’s military history with photos that were passed down to her by her mother. While Fisher was at her home recently trying to learn more about the the men, his aunt came across something she had never seen before. “She came back and said ‘You are not going to believe this… I found one of his (Adam’s) dog tags.’”Throughout the generations Fisher’s family has sacrificed so much for this county. “When I think of Memorial Day, I think of my relatives and the sacrifices they paid and I understand why the people that came back, they are still kind of living in the past.”Each year Memorial Day gives families such as Henderson’s and Fisher’s a formal opportunity to pay tribute. Unfortunately, Memorial Day 2020 will be unlike the years before: Ceremonies have been cancelled due to social distancing orders to stop the spread of COVID-19. Soldiers from YPG’s Airborne Test Force usually take part in two ceremonies on Memorial Day serving as Color Guard, but this year that did not happen. Although the annual pomp and ceremony did not happen there are things families can do on their own to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The Military Benefits site has some suggestions.• Visit cemeteries and memorials• Volunteer to place an American Flag on each grave in national cemeteries• Observe a minute of silence at 3:00 PM, local time• Donate to veterans and military support groupsCeremony or not the most important gesture one can make is to never forget the sacrifices made to gain our freedom…and to keep our freedom.“I used to see my uncle Candy, he used to take all the crosses on Memorial Day and take them to the cemetery and he used to park them all outside of my aunt’s porch. I would see 30, 40, 50 crosses, two to three feet high and I thought ‘what is he doing’ I couldn’t get a grip. Until I saw how many friends he had lost.”