Peoria County officials held their own ceremony Monday to say thank you to veterans.

Dozens of people gathered at the world wars one and two memorial downtown.

Several speakers talked about the importance of Memorial Day and the freedoms solders fight to protect.

The featured speaker shared stories of men and women he knew during his time in the military, and explained the impact that the loss of a soldier has on everybody.

Especially their families.

“For all of the families, for all of the fallen, my heartfelt thank you for your sacrifice as well and for the sacrifices of the families. They are the reason we’re a free nation today,” said speaker, Lt. Col. Christopher Penningroth.

Veterans were also remembered with a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.