It’s a peaceful place. It’s full of honor and emotion.
“Look around and just take it all in,” Karina Cunningham said.
This was the first time Cunningham visited Miramar National Cemetery on a Memorial Day.
“I’m so proud to be standing here along with all these family members,” she said as families walked the rows between headstones.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
Memorial Day 2021 at Miramar National Cemetery
Each headstone is engraved with the name of a soul who volunteered to serve their country or the name of the spouse who supported that military servicemember. Cunningham stood beside a headstone that read Jasen Cunningham, a Chula Vista police officer and Marine veteran.
“And anybody that knows Jasen, the whole Marine thing, he took it to another level,” Cunningham said, allowing herself to smile.
Stomach cancer took her husband in 2020.
“You never get over it. You do get through it,” sighed Jeaneane Henson.
Henson stood next to her son’s marker. Daniel Ferguson was an Army Sergeant.
“Beloved son, loved brother, devoted soldier, and a warm smile,” read Henson.
She imagined her son would be happy buried next to other men and women who served in the U.S. Military.
“I think they’re here talking, telling their stories,” she smiled. “He had a love to serve, to serve this country.”
Henson said her son died by suicide after suffering from a painful blood disorder he may have incurred while deployed overseas.
“What I would ask is that you just take maybe a minute and have a moment of silence and just hold them in your heart,” she said softly.
Daniel Ferguson and Jasen Cunningham are just two of the thousands of men and women buried in Miramar who put their country ahead of themselves. Honoring their sacrifice and service is the true definition of Memorial Day.
“My husband was a hero. He was a hero,” Cunningham said.