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Community Honors Those Who Serve

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An Armed Forces Day event at Brady Street Stadium in Davenport, Iowa, provided a place for residents from several communities to pay respects to those who are serving. The national holiday was created in order to honor current service members, and veterans were honored Saturday as well. Officials say the recognition is important.

"They gave all so that we could be here, in this free country," said Debbie Rice, who helped create a memory wall for Iowa's fallen soldiers. "It has all the fallen from Afghanistan and Iraq on it."

Even as the US continues its drawdown in the Middle East, around 33,000 American troops are reportedly still serving in Afghanistan. After more than a decade after the September 11th attacks, more than 6,800 Americans have died while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"If they can go away with one name, or one face, and remember that, we're doing our job," Rice said. "We want to make sure that they know that they gave all their tomorrows for our todays."

The event featured live performances, military equipment and presentations. Above all, officials say it offered visitors an opportunity to thank military members firsthand.

"Come out and show your support for our troops," said Scott Harper, chairman of the Armed Forces Day Committee. "All different vendors that help to support our soldiers and their families, that's what it's about. That way, they can come out here, and see what's available."

Organizers say they hope the event reminds people of how much military members have done, and are doing, to protect the USA. Harper says ongoing community support is important for both veterans and those still serving.

"I mean because if not, it would be so hard especially for our young men and women overseas, for them to stay focused on their job at hand," he said.

Several military associations and branches were represented, including the US Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and local Military Explorers

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