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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The deck of the USS North Carolina was packed Memorial Day with people paying their respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

“It kind of chokes you up a little bit,” Stephen O’Brien said. “You can’t really put it into words.”

Stephen and his wife Isabella say they have strong military ties. They say they came to the battleship to remember.

“We love the military and we support them whole heartedly,” Stephen O’Brien said. “I’m a Navy veteran and we came down here to show our support.”

“My dad was in the military, World War II and Korea,” Isabella said. “It (Memorial Day ceremony) gives me a time to remember him.”

Another person with close ties to the service? Senator Kay Hagan. Hagan says she could not think of a better place to spend the holiday than on board with those who have served our country.

“When I hear the different songs and the words, it really is emotional,” Hagan said. “To see the men and the women who stood up when the different branches were being honored… I think everyone here feels the emotion and respect for all the men and women who have served.”

The O’Briens say the best way to honor those we have loved and lost is to appreciate the men and women still serving our country today.

“This country has a great military and people should really respect that and show their support for the guys over there now,” Stephen said.

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