President Donald Trump laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery Monday.
The Memorial Day tradition honors service members who lost their lives.
The president visited the cemetery's section 60, where many soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. There, he met with Gold Star families who lost someone in combat.
One of the Gold Star families was Green Country’s own, Specialist Chris Horton.
Since his death, Horton’s wife, Collinsville native Jane Horton, has spent the last five-and-a-half years advocating for veterans and their families across the United States; Monday, she was one of the families recognized.
"When they sat me and my father-in-law, David, up by the Vice President, I was like, ‘This is really happening. They are gonna tell Chris's story,’" Jane said.
Her husband was killed in Afghanistan in September 2011.
"I knew when he gave his life, that was gonna be my mission, to make sure that I did all I could to honor him and his fallen comrades," Jane said.
She saw her mission become an even more vivid reality Monday.
"Let us all pledge to tell the stories of Robert, Chris, Andrew and all of America's fallen warriors," President Donald Trump said Monday.
As guests of the president and first lady, Horton attended the Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery, where the president told Chris' story to the nation.
"It was overwhelming, and it was incredible, and it was the greatest honor," she said.
Horton and her family were seated close to Vice President Pence. She also said the president took time to meet her and several other Gold Star families after the event.
"You know, when someone asks you how you describe your husband, it’s a tough, tough thing to put your husband into a few words, but he gave, like I said, Chris a couple minutes and gave a really good picture of who he was," she said.
But one thing was missing according to Horton.
"I wish Chris could've been there," she said. "We all miss Chris deeply, and Memorial Day is, you know, it’s a raw time. It's a special time, but it’s a raw time."
Horton said the opportunity to hear her husband's name on a national platform was one of the most humbling experiences of her life. She said she will continue advocating for soldiers and their families.