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Tioga County Honors Fallen Soldiers: "The key is to remember"

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OWEGO, N.Y. -

It's a somber day of remembrance all across the country. In Owego, residents took the time to honor and remember all the fallen soldiers from Tioga County.

"The key word, remember," says Jim Raftis, Memorial Day Chair, "Never forget."

A flag was laid down at the monument in front of the courthouse for each man or woman killed in combat. Every name was read, with no soldier left out whether they died in combat, peacetime, as a prisoner of war, or went missing in action.

"They made the supreme sacrifice, it's our duty to honor them."

The names of veterans who made it home, but died since last Veteran's Day were also read off as the community remembered their service.

Before the ceremony, residents lined the streets for the annual parade. Waving a flag from the sidewalk with her younger sister, 10 year-old Tatum Kowalski says her dad served and she just wants to show her support.

 "I just really think that we should support all the people who died in the military," says Kowalski, "They were fighting for our country and they died for us."

Many other residents who came out for the parade and ceremony were either veterans themselves or had friends or family in the military.