BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — For most people, Memorial Day is the last Monday in May. For Robyn and Norm Anderson, the day to remember is every day.

Their son, LCpl. Norman Wallace Anderson, III, was killed in 2005 while deployed in Afghanistan with the United States Marine Corps. He was outside the base and stopped a suspicious vehicle that then exploded, killing him.

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“We were at Arlington on Saturday, and you know you sit there and you look at your son’s headstone,” Robyn said, trailing off as she began to cry.

The marine’s father said their son saved the lives of people on that base.

“The vehicle exploded, it was loaded with seven propane tanks. Norm was like right there — he was the only casualty,” he said.

For his actions, Anderson was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with “V” for Valor.

His name is just one on a list of 165 Maryland service members who have died since 9/11 while protecting the nation.

“We talked to our son six days before he was killed. He was tired, exhausted but he felt so good about what they were doing over there,” Robyn said, adding they have so much pride in the work their son did while on deployment.

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Escorted by a parade of motorcycles is a large bell, rung in the name of each fallen service member from the state.

Doug Hopkins was one of the bikers riding on Memorial Day. He rides with a bear strapped to the back of his bike for the service members who cannot ride with them anymore.

Though the coronavirus pandemic has canceled many Memorial Day celebrations, Hopkins said people can still take the time to remember the sacrifices made by those no longer with us.

“Even if you’re at home, do it in your heart,” he said. “Say a little prayer for them, it means a lot.”

Chuck Ritz is the organizer of the Hope and Peace Foundation and the Maryland 9/11 Rolling Memorial. He said this year’s attendance was down and the ceremony was a little different but it was important to come out.

“With the virus and everything else thrown at us, we need to continue to keep the promise to never forget,” Ritz said.

Ritz said the flag is the focus and the colors haven’t faded.

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“Fly the colors no matter how you fly them, whether you’re covering up your face or that, but it’s still red, white and blue,” he said.

Rachael Cardin