Fort Meade continued its week-long tribute to veterans Thursday, with a special ceremony outside the installation's museum.
A healthy crowd gathered during the sunny, blustery afternoon to honor all of those who served.
"We give up our unalienable rights to allow others theirs, to protect freedom and promote democracy worldwide," said Col. Edward Rothstein, the installation commander.
Rothstein invited his father, a Korean War veteran, as the keynote speaker.
Harold Rothstein recalled growing up among veterans of World War I, then attending school with men returning from World War II. Rothstein was drafted into the Korean War after finishing college.
"It was something I never regretted doing," he said. "The opportunity to serve my country, to wear the colors, I had no hesitancy about doing. Even when I went overseas, the idea of being there was part of the responsibility."
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-4th District) also offered remarks, and recalled her experience growing up as the daughter of an airman. She joked of her affection for nearby Andrews Air Force Base because that's where she got her measles shot as a child.
"I grew up in every region of this country and all around the world," Edwards said. "I know that following my dad's service, though he retired his uniform, he never retired his service."