HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) - Monday events across the state are being held to honor those Wisconsin service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
10 new service members have been added to the list of Wisconsin residents killed in action.
In Howard the community lined the street for the annual memorial day parade.
Kids grabbed for candy and cheered for the bright lights of emergency vehicles.
People saluted as members of the military rolled down the street.
A ceremony followed at Duck Creek Cemetery.
This year's parade marshal has a very personal Memorial Day story.
His son, Corporal Justin Ross died in Afghanistan in March of last year.
Justin was 22 years old and a 2007 Bay Port High School graduate.
In this tight knit community it was clear Justin was in everyone's heart today.
"The reason we got involved in the parade in years past is because our sons were in the band" says Ron Ross.
But now that same band plays in honor of his son Justin buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
"Everything you think you know about grief you don't until you experience it" says Ross.
Fellow soldiers from the Wausau based 428th who served by Ross' side, now marched in his honor.
"It is a pretty important day for anybody in the armed services. We honor the fallen, somebody we never forget" explains Staff Sergeant Jesse Boyd with the 428th Engineering Company.
"It is a connection" says Ross. "Everybody who was a friend of Justin, everybody who lived with him for the last year of his life. If we get close to them then we feel like we're close to him"
According to Staff Sgt. Boyd "It is not about us. Yes we got a whole lot of [people saying] thank you, but it is not about us. It is about the ones who we can't say hi to everyday".
The true meaning of Memorial Day.
A lesson the Ross family never wanted to teach, but will to honor their son.
"Our country is not made out of things, it is made out of people and its made out of people who have given a great sacrifice. Part of what it takes to live in a great nation is great sacrifice" says Ross who has "tremendous pride for our son and for our nation".
The Ross family hosted members of Justin's unit at their house for a cook-out Monday.
They hoped to share stories about their son and simply say thank you.