LITTLE ROCK, AR- On Memorial Day, members of the armed forces and families gathered to honor fallen Arkansas soldiers who dedicated their lives to protecting our country.

Salutes were given and hats were removed to symbolize the gratitude to the men and women who have been called to their eternal home. To soldiers who remain active and for families of those who have passed on, the meaning of Memorial Day is much more.

“This is a bittersweet day for me and my family,” Bishop Sean Daniels said.

Many of us were reminded of what Memorial Day truly means.

“Memorial Day is a day I like to take time to recognize the men, women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and have lost their lives in service of our great nation, Col. Angela Ochoa, commander for the U.S. Airforce, said.”

People from all over the state gathered at the Arkansas State Veteran’s Cemetery for the Memorial Day ceremony, all there to remember someone they loved: A husband, wife, sister, or brother who laid down their lives to preserve this country’s right to freedom.

“Before he went on this last tour, he told me that we were gonna’ take more trips together when he got back home, not knowing that he was talking about his heavenly home,” Daniels said.

Sean Daniels said his brother, Jamar Avery Hicks, was only 22 when he lost his life during the war in Afghanistan.

“He kept saying he loved me over and over again, texting me back-to-back,” Daniels said. “And I was ‘Love you more bro, you’re coming home.’ And this was the end result.”

Daniels says events like these bring him a sense of comfort on this difficult day, giving him the opportunity to find refuge in families of other fallen soldiers.

“Go out and have dinner with them on the weekend. Have a movie day,” Daniels said. “Do different things with the gold star family so that we all can connect.”

Daniels said even though he misses his brother, he’s proud of his service.

“I’m thankful for that. From the bottom of my heart and I’m grateful for my brother,” Daniels concluded.

As the wreath was laid in their memory, gold star family members were reminded of what their loved ones meant to the world.

To the men and women who have dedicated their lives to upholding our country’s freedom, thank you for your service.