MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A solemn day of remembrance starts at a Mobile landmark. Dozens of people gathered at Battleship Memorial Park for the annual flag-lowering ceremony just after dawn Monday morning. The event pays tribute to America’s war dead who left to serve the country and never came home. It’s a sacred honor for civilians and veterans alike.

“We actually try to remember on today, it’s not so much a celebration as it is a memorial, to remember those, the 1.6 million who’ve given their life since World War I,” said South Alabama Veterans Council President Lou Lartigue. Attendees also were handed poppies. According to the American Legion “The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars. It reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by our veterans while protecting our freedoms.”