SAN DIEGO — Ahead of the national holiday, Miramar National Cemetery hosted their 12th annual Memorial Day ceremony to honor fallen service members — their first in-person event since 2019.

“It’s a solemn celebration of our fallen brothers and sisters who have lost their lives in conflict,” Sallay Kim, Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation president and U.S. Army combat veteran, told FOX 5.

The ceremony had shifted online during the pandemic. Kim explained that it was important to keep the event going no matter what.

“Our brothers and sisters go out and lose their lives. They put everything on the line for our country,” Kim said. “I think it’s important that we take the time to honor them, to celebrate them, to commemorate them each year.”

Various military officials from local bases attended Sunday’s event and spoke at the ceremony, including U.S. Navy veteran, Joshua Prado.

“This is a day that we just make sure that we remember everything that (veterans have) done for us on a personal level (and) for the entire country,” Prado said. “I’m very grateful that everybody comes out and supports these, whether know these folks or see the fruits of the sacrifice that they made for this country.”

At Miramar National Cemetery, over 30,000 veterans and their families have been laid to rest. Sunday’s Memorial Day ceremony served to commemorate and honor them, as well as the 1.2 million men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice defending the U.S.