LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Gov. Greg Abbott visited Longview on Monday to give the keynote address at a Memorial Day ceremony.

“We all understand that America is a symbol across the entire globe of freedom, opportunity and hope,” Abbott said. “From our nation’s very beginning, the United States military has safeguarded those sacred values. Today we honor the heroes who gave their all to fight for those values. Those who went into harm’s way to protect the American way.”

Abbott said for this Memorial Day, he has a special request for everyone in the state of Texas.

“I ask that you keep in your prayers the people of Uvalde, Texas,” Abbott said. “What happened in Uvalde was a horrific act of evil, and as Texans we must come together and lift up Uvalde and support them in every way that we possibly can. It is going to take time to heal the devastation that the families there have gone through and are going through, but be assured we will not relent until Uvalde recovers. We are Texans, and Texans will unite.”

The day began with a nondenominational service at 8 a.m. At 10 a.m., a local Boy Scout troop retired an American flag.

During his speech, Abbott also recognized first responders.

“While we memorialize the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, we also take a moment today to thank our first responders who risk their own lives for our safety and security here in the homeland,” Abbott said.

Abbott was joined by country artist Neal McCoy, Sen. Bryan Hughes, Longview Mayor Andy Mack, Rep. Jay Dean, County Judge Bill Stoudt and more.