Memorials have been held at the Presidio in San Francisco for 142 years. More than 2,000 visitors were expected to visit Monday to honor the dead from all of America's wars.
Per tradition, it all started with a parade. Teenage cadets marched alongside active duty service members as well as veterans discharged long ago.
The soldiers and sailors buried at the Presidio made the ultimate sacrifice. Their history dates back to the Mexican American War of 1846 through the Civil War, and wars of the 20th century.
35,000 veterans and some of their family members are buried at the Presidio. Many went off to war in the prime of their lives. One vet wounded five times in Vietnam told ABC7 he wants people to think consider that fact, if they think Memorial Day is only for picnics and parades.
"For them, it's just a day off. For people who have served in the military or have friends or family who served in the military, it's an important day that they honor the people who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country," said Vietnam veteran Michael Thompson.
Speeches were planned Monday by people including Congresswoman Jackie Spier, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco.