URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The American Legion hosted its Memorial Day service in Urbana to honor those who died for the country.

The Honor Guard presented the 21-gun salute. It’s an old custom that has become a tradition meaning the dead have been cared for. They lowered the flag to half-staff before ending with prayer.

Champaign Police Chief and Army Reserves Colonel Timothy Tyler said incorporating the history into the day’s celebration is one way to pay respects to those who served.

“Here in Champaign County, we have lost– We have so many veterans that did not return home or that have died in the 80 conflicts,” said Tyler. “So, it’s so important that we all remember that the only reason that we have this day is through the bloodshed of those who fought for freedom.”

And this ceremony was his way of bringing the community together to do just that.

He said the easiest way to honor the fallen is by taking a brief moment of silence to remember and thank them.