WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — As visitors gathered across the National Mall on Memorial Day, the Taps rang out at 11 different memorial or soon-to-be memorial sights.

Those included:

  • African American Civil War Memorial
  • American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial,
  • DC War Memorial, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm Memorial
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial
  • Global War on Terrorism Memorial
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • World War I Memorial
  • World War II Memorial
  • United States Navy Memorial

During that time, visitors were asked to pause and reflect on those who sacrificed their lives serving our country.

One of those people is Ethan Goolsby.

“He was so loving,” said Kelly Goolsby, Ethan’s father.

Goolsby and his wife Michelle were in Washington honoring their late son this Memorial Day Weekend.

“It’s been good to see how many people are here,” said Goolsby. “I think we see the part of Memorial Day where people are BBQing and shopping and this really drives it home because it feels like everyone here is honoring all of our service members from all the wars.”

Ethan was killed in December of 2020 when he went overboard while serving on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The twenty-year-old was a US Navy Aviation Ordanceman, according to his father.

“He knew serving was an option but then it became very clear to him after high school. I think seeing a nation that needed it was important to him and he wanted to do his part,” said Goolsby. “We think about Ethan every day, but today in particular we think about all who serve and those who are still serving who are away from families and separated.”

“This is way more emotional and just touches you so much more,” said Tina Wiese, who was at that World War II Memorial Monday.

Wiese is the mother of a marine. Her son is currently serving his second tour in Okinawa.

This Memorial Day she hopes everyone can stop and take a minute to think about the ultimate sacrifice many servicemen and women have made.

“I want them to know the sacrifice that each one of these men and women had and what their families sacrificed because they’re doing it for all of us. And not necessarily for the glory, just to protect us,” said Wiese.