Former United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was among those who joined in a Memorial Day ceremony at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose.
"Today, as we gather at this memorial, we honor all warriors who are willing to fight and die for freedom and for their country," Panetta said.
Panetta urged the crowd never to forget those who put their country above all else.
"Sons and daughters who without hesitation, without hesitation, were willing to step up and respond to the call of their nation, to put their lives on the line for this country," he said.
Panetta also urged the crowd to keep America strong during turbulent times.
"The real strength of this country lies in the spirit and resilience and bravery and courage and dedication to duty, to honor and country," he said.