The National World War II Memorial is marking its tenth anniversary this Memorial Day.
Saturday, a ceremony honored the lasting legacy of the "greatest generation."
The stars represent more than 400,000 U.S. troops who lost their lives. Today was a day to honor their sacrifice by way of this young memorial - only 10 years old.
"This morning we honor the generation of brave men and women who helped liberate the world from the grip of tyranny and who built America," says Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
The son of a World War II veteran, Hagel said the memorial should remind future generations of the cost of war.
"War is real…with real consequences," he said.
For World War II veteran Jack Krogmann being there was an obligation, a duty.
"I get goose pimples when they start playing the music and the speeches from these real heroes," he said.
The 92 year old who lives in McLean has trouble walking, but still shows up with the hopes he can see and chat with his old buddies.
During his service, on two separate incidents, Krogmann's ship was hit by torpedos. Both times, he survived.
Last time Laurent Broussal was in Washington was days after Japan surrendered. The San Francisco resident, who fought in the Pacific with the Navy, is back for the first time since the war ended. Visiting the memorial was partly the reason.
"The memories of having served with some people who are no longer with us," Broussal said. "Good friends that I lost and it reminds me of them all."