Communities throughout the region are observing Memorial Day Weekend with special ceremonies and parades.

A large crowd gathered at the Williams Township Veterans Memorial in Northampton County Sunday to honor the men and women who died in the service.

"Our son gave his life for this country and many lives were sacrificed for our freedoms," said Sharon Klinger.

Klinger's son, Lance Cpl. Joshua P. Klinger, was killed in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2005. The U.S. Marine was just 21 years-old.

"I lost my dad in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II…I didn't even know him," said Richard Seiffert, a Vietnam veteran who lost his dad when he was just three months old.

A Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Ceremony was also held in Oley Township, Berks County Sunday.

Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971, but many of the traditions date back much earlier than that.

Decoration Day was established in the mid 1800s. It started as a day to decorate the graves of those who died in the Civil War.

Family members of fallen heroes said they hope everyone will take a few minutes to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.

"Remember the sacrifices that were given, and the troops serving for us that let us have the picnics and keep the peace here in the United States of America. And to teach children about sacrifices and the true meaning of Memorial Day," Klinger said.