(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indianapolis has taken its annual pause before the 500 to remember the real reason for this holiday weekend: the thousands of American soldiers who have given their lives for their country.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to pay tribute to fallen soldiers from the American Revolution to Iraq.
Mayor Greg Ballard, a former Marine colonel, says no country honors its veterans more highly. The ceremony was packed with symbolism, from the riderless horse trailing a flag-covered caisson, to the fighter-jet flyover with one plane missing from the formation, to an empty chair on the platform representing those missing in action.
Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Martin Umbarger took special note of the 139 Hoosiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. 4,000 Hoosier Guard members are currently deployed overseas, the most of any state.
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