MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Honoring the sacrifice American troops have made to keep us free. That’s what this Memorial Day is all about.

On Monday, Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis hosted its annual Memorial Day Ceremony.

The ceremony started with a parade of veterans. A flyover was scheduled, but was cancelled due to rain.

It didn’t stop hundreds of people who came to pay their respects.

Veterans and politicians spoke at the event. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Tim Walz talked about the meaning of Memorial Day.

“It has been said that a nation that forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten,” Klobuchar said. “We tell the world who we are as a country by how we honor our fallen heroes. That’s why we dedicate this day, every year, to honoring those who are no longer with us.”

Walz called Memorial Day one of the most sacred of holidays.

“We gather here today on the most sacred of America’s national holidays to make sure we’re paying tribute and understanding who gave us that precious gift of the freedom that Americans hold so dear,” Walz said.

Josh Bartz, whose grandfather fought in W.W.II., attended and brought his family to Fort Snelling for the first time.

“It’s just a big thing too, to have our younger generation be a part of something like this, to be able to understand what our country has given as far as the sacrifice and the reason why we are able to celebrate what we have here today,” Bartz said.

American flags were placed on all the grave stones at the cemetery. On Sunday, thousands of volunteers for Flags for Fort Snelling placed the flags during an event called Minnesota Remembers.

It was just announced that starting this weekend, Historic Fort Snelling is now offering free general admission for all veterans and five family members.