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Soldiers honored at Texas State Cemetery

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Soldiers from long ago were honored at the state cemetery this Memorial Day.

With their hands over their hearts, people remembered some of the oldest Texas patriots.

The Sons of the American Revolution recognized two soldiers buried at the Texas State Cemetery--Lt. Robert Rankin and Sgt. Stephen Williams.

Rankin was called upon by Sam Houston to serve as a negotiator with the Indians at San Jacinto.

"Sam Houston counted him as a friend," said Wayne Courreges, descendent of Lt. Rankin.

Williams, after a long military career, volunteered to fight for Texas' independence from Mexico at the age of 75.

"He didn't leave any diaries behind but the family story was he didn't like the government telling him what religion he had to be," said Kathi Thomas, descendent of Sgt. Williams.

After decedents re-told their stories of bravery, wreaths were placed on their graves and members of the Sons of the American Revolution fired muskets as a salute.

"This is great. It's a flash to the past. It kind of makes you really proud to be an American," said ceremony attendee Edward Esquivel.

Those in attendance had more than just these soldiers on their minds.

"Lt. Colonel William D. Lemkowitz. [I'm] very proud of him," said Shelly Lemkowitz with an American flag in her arms. "This is my father's flag. He passed away 16 years ago. I thought it was such a nice day I'd come out here and take it with me. I thought he'd enjoy that."

"All of these we honor today gave of themselves so the future could be better for those they left behind," Thoman said. "Their sacrifices made our lives better and we thank them for it."

This was the 32nd year for the memorial. It began in 1981.

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