NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - On this 150th anniversary of Memorial Day, pride and patriotism filled the Boeing Freedom Pavilion of the World War Two museum.
"We want people to celebrate and enjoy, but we want them to take a little time to remember," says Bill Detweiller.
It's about remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"We've lost over a million men and women since the America Revolution in combat and you don't send old people to war. It's the brightest and the best," says Detweiller.
"The war robbed them of what could have been the best years of their life," says Rep. Janice Hahn.
When Preston Sharp was just 10 years old, he visited his grandfather's gravesite, and he noticed the lack of flags and flowers on the graves of veterans.
"Since that day, I've placed over 60 thousand flags on grave sites in 11 states," says Sharp.
Sharp says it's about honoring Veterans every day.
"I feel so thankful for what they do," says Sharp.
"They don't think twice. They're working for the defense of this country," says Detweiller.
For people like World War II veteran, Bowdre McDowell, this day is tough.
"When I came home on the USS Missouri, I'm not a hero. I'm a survivor. Those people who were on that ship before me, they sacrificed. I didn't and it touches me," says McDowell.
McDowell joined the Navy in 1943. He says it's about remembering those who lost their lives and the families they left behind.
"You got off to fight battles. That's a great sacrifice, and not knowing if you would return. Those that did not return left their families without. It's a sad feeling really," says McDowelll.
McDowell now donates his time at the museum, telling his story and listening to those of others.
"I meet people from all over the world. I hear the stories of their dedication from their families, and the soldiers that didn't come home. Tears roll from their eyes, and they roll from mine," says McDowell.