Red River Valley Veterans Memorial ceremony brings honor to the fallen

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PARIS, Tex. (KXII) -- "People appreciate that. The small town Americans really appreciate it. So that's what this is. What we're trying to say is, 'looky here, this is how proud we are,'" said Gary Cravens, secretary of the RRVVM Corporate Board.

Veterans and supporters came from miles around to show their appreciation for the men and women who lost their lives fighting for the stars and stripes.

This show of support is not uncommon in Paris, a city that devotes many days a year to honor the sacrifice of the Armed Forces.

"It is a very humbling experience," said Specialist Mikeuchev a Chisum grad who is currently serving in the U.S. Army.

That devotion comes to life in the details of the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial, most recently the murals painted there to represent combat zones.

"It enhances not only the statue, but the overall appearance and effect that the memorial has on people," said Craven.

The memorial board members hope little touches like these can help veterans relay their experiences in the service to their loved ones.

"Those helicopters coming to land, if you've been there or you know somebody, you can just kind of feel it," said Cravens.

That feeling, of respect and understanding of their sacrifice, played out today at the Memorial Day ceremony.

"Today I performed TAPS for Memorial Day. It's an honor to play TAPS," said Mikeuchev.

In Paris, people say they feel it every day.

"We're small town, god-fearing, American people. Most of us look back and appreciate what it took to get to this place," said Cravens.