A packed house was on-hand at the Yehl Ballroom as combined war veterans and Gannon ROTC members alike were there to honor those who pay the ultimate sacrifice.

Both veterans who returned home and their comrades who were not as fortunate were honored during the ceremony.

Retired United States Army Major General and State Judge Mike Dunlavey addressed the crowd today and says the opportunity to talk to the  past, present and future of our armed forces was a tough experience for him. But the message he spoke with is what carried the most importance.

"And to say, that's our mission in life, you know, whether we, we're dealt the cards we're dealt." said Dunlavey. "And if you have the ability to convey the message, then that's what you should do. And I hope I represent the community, our veterans community to the best of my ability every day I do it. We've got so many great people here, so many families who've made the ultimate sacrifice, and like I mentioned the three from the 101st, they're in the community, nobody knew who these guys were,. They're little old guys.. No they're not, they're America's heroes."

During the ceromony, both Amazing Grace and the bugle call "Taps" were played, both struck a chord with Dunlavey.

 "It's tough right now." said Dunlavey "When you hear taps, when you see the call at the ceremony. Which we do when ya have an operation,  we have casualities... it's tough.Despite the medals."

Copyright 2017 Erie News Now. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.