LANSING | Veterans killed in action or who have since died were remembered and saluted for their sacrifices at a Memorial Day service held Sunday at the Lansing Veterans Memorial at the Lansing Municipal Airport.

About 200 people attended the service hosted for the 21st year by the Lansing Veterans Memorial ceremonial honor guard.

Honor guard ceremony coordinator Rich Dominiak thanked those who attended and encouraged all to stay focused on the reason for the day.

"It's a day of remembrance, not a day of barbecues," Dominiak said.

The service included the raising of flags from each branch of the military, as well as one honoring prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Veterans organizations and families of deceased veterans laid wreaths at the memorial.

Two members of the Illinois Army National Guard, Chief Warrant Officer Dan Lieber and Sgt. 1st Class Mike Sanow, gave the honor guard with a flag for the group's acceptance as a partner with the Vietnam War Commemoration program.

The program commemorates the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War.

Among those in the crowd was Andy Rodriguez, of Lansing. His late father served in World War II. Rodriquez often attends the service.

"A lot of them gave their lives, so you want to preserve their memory," Rodriguez said.

Rachael Panega, of Merrillville, attended the service for the first time. She wanted her three young children to see the memorial.

"They should know what Memorial Day is," Panega said. "(It's) more than just a day off of school."

Loralee Wendelburg came from Roselawn, Ind., with her young son and said ceremonies like these are important.

"It shows your support for the troops, and it's just a good way of being patriotic," Wendelburg said.

Scott is a Chesterton native who has been in journalism since 1991. He worked at newspapers in Spencer, Fort Wayne and Michigan City. Lawson spent five years in the U.S. Navy as a journalist. He lives in Chesterton with his wife and daughter.