SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — From San Francisco’s Presidio to the streets of Mill Valley, Bay Area residents took time Monday to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

Among those honoring the fallen heros was former Sgt. First Class Thomas Cope, who carries with him a list of 12 names of the men who died in his platoon just a few weeks after he came home from Vietnam.

“There was an explosion and it killed all of them,” he said.

Now at 83 years of age and still proudly wearing his uniform, Cope said that every year he comes to the San Francisco National Cemetery to honor all those who served and sacrificed.

“We celebrate the lives of young people who gave their lives,” he said. “It means a lot to me because I was one of those persons who trained young men to go into combat.”

Hundreds joined Cope at the flag raising ceremony and grand march on Monday. After spending a few moments in silence thought, Cope produced a photo of members of his old unit that is near and dear to his heart.

“I am here for them, I carry them with me all the time,” he said.

In Campbell, the Del Mar High School band played music as part of a special ceremony dedicating a “Pathway To Glory” honoring local men who had fallen protecting their country.

Men like Adam Estep, an Army sergeant who died in Iraq.

“Each year is a balance as we remember who he was, reflect on his service and sacrifice,” said his father Adam. “It is always a balance of wonderful memories and sorrowful thoughts of what ifs.”

In Mill Valley, hundreds lined the streets for the city’s annual Memorial Day parade. Among the celebrants was Debbie Porzio and her children.

“It’s really important to get together as a community and a family to honor our veterans,” she said.

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