(WJLA) - On the day we honor the military men and women who died in service to our country, Lily Gaa joined many others in paying respects at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington.
"I feel grateful that they fought for my freedom and my ability to live my civilian life and feel safe in America," she said.
Some of Gaa's friends signed up after 9/11, and didn't make it back from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jacob Healy lost his father in 2005 in "Operation Red Wings," a battle portrayed in the film, "Lone Survivor." He graduated last year, and is now working for the Fallen Patriots Foundation.
"Giving them the support, the gift that I once received...It's a legacy thing and a great way to honor my dad," he said.
Healy and dozens of other just completed a 450-mile run from Massachusetts to this memorial to raise money for "Children of Fallen Patriots," an organization that helps children of parents who died in the way, pay for college:
"You just think, I'm doing this for something greater than me. As a gold star son, every day is Memorial Day. I am always looking for ways to commemorate my father and honor his legacy."