Anne Cusack / LAT
Dubbed Arlington West, crosses decorate the sand at Santa Monica Beach on Memorial Day to commemorate lives lost in the Iraq war. Maria Reynoso,14, and Tadeo Gonzalez, 9, from Baldwin Park pay respects to their cousin Mario Daniel Gonzalez, 21, who was killed in November. At Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood, where nearly 85,000 veterans are buried, hundreds came to honor America's war dead and mourn a lack of respect. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel told the crowd that Memorial Day has lost its meaning for many Americans, that it has become a three-day weekend kicking off summer rather than a holiday conceived in the wake of the Civil War "to remind ourselves that freedom is not free.... "
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