ELGIN, Okla. (KFOR) – The markers stand in precise rows, white stones, each for fallen service members, some who gave their lives in military service.

On this Memorial Day, 2023, as friends and relatives gathered to remember them with a presentation of colors, with gun salutes and the laying of a wreath, Capt. Jordan Underwood came to remind the gathering of his mission to locate missing heroes as part of his job at the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency.

“Every day is Memorial Day for us,” he argues. “We hear stories all the time and every, single one of them gets to me. It’s a very emotional experience.”

Gold Star wife Pat Miller has 7 family members buried at the Fort Sill National Cemetery.

Her father, who served in Korea and Vietnam rests in one section.

Her husband, Danny Miller lies in Section 3.

He passed away long after the war ended from an illness caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

This national holiday, she states, “Brings back the day I buried him. It brings back the day he died. 15 years seems like a long time but it’s just the blink of an eye.”

Quiet walks among the markers, silent reflection, and a short program on a late May morning.

Each member of the audience on this day has a connection with one of the markers at the cemetery.

Army Chaplain Capt. Carmen Martinez – Perez argues thee is no off duty in her line of work.

She describes her constant job as nurturing the living, caring for the sick and wounded, and finally, honoring the fallen.

“That’s basically the bread and butter of being a chaplain,” she smiles. “Care for their souls and their spirits.”

Memorial Day is the un-official start of summer for so many people, a time to have a little fun with family on a long weekend.

But since 1868, it’s also a day set aside to remember a very long list of heroes who fought and died for the rest of us.


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Many of them still stand in formation at national cemeteries all over the world, dressed in eternal white marble.

As of May, 2023 there were 9,700 grave markers at the Fort Sill National Cemetery, opened in November of 2001.

For more information on the cemetery, click here.