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Memorial Day ceremonies start in Yuba City: "They gave up our tomorrow for our today"

Yuba City community honors military personnel and veterans this Memorial Day
Yuba City community honors military personnel and veterans this Memorial Day 02:43

YUBA CITY - A community in Yuba City is keeping a more than 30-year tradition of honoring all military personnel and veterans alive this Memorial Day. 

"Because what these men and women did, they gave up our tomorrow for our today," David Bellavia, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, said.

Bellavia has seen the impact of war firsthand. 

"Combat or anything traumatic can destroy your life if you dwell on it but in combat, I saw love and sacrifice and it's impossible not to be negatively impacted by that. We're living for people that aren't here," Bellavia said. 

He was the keynote speaker for the 32nd annual A Grateful National Remembers program put on at Calvary Christian Center. 

Bellavia is the first and only Iraq war veteran to receive this award and received it after heroic efforts to save his unit members in 2004. 

"The older I get and the more I realize what that sacrifice means, I think you're supposed to have the best day ever," Bellavia said. 

People from all across the country filled the seats inside the church to honor active-duty military members, veterans, and those who never made it home. 

"It's very humbling to come here, to go to the wall and get a rubbing of your lost loved ones or your friends that gave the ultimate sacrifice," David Haney, Retired Master Sergeant for the US Airforce, said. 

He now helps put on the Afghanistan and Vietnam reenactments which happen during the program, to help honor those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

The program was an opportunity to honor and understand those who have served and continue to serve our country. 

"If there is just one day a year that we can be worth that sacrifice, I say have the most fun you could ever have," Bellavia said. 

The Freedom Hero's Memorial also sits outside of the church. It's an outdoor monument with 21 panels that have more than 7,000 names of Fallen Warriors. 

The program will run again on Monday, May 27 starting at noon at Calvary Christian Center. 

For more information, you can click here.

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