MADISON, Tenn. (WKRN) — Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Nashville National Cemetery is the final resting place for about 33,000 veterans and their families. Unfortunately, not all families have the opportunity to bury their loved ones who lost their lives in service.

About 82,000 Americans are missing from war according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

The DPAA works to identify the remains of missing Americans to honor the servicemen and give their loved ones closure.

Experts analyze each case through interviews, photos, DNA analysis, and more, gathering as much information as they can to identify the missing.

“Your bones radiographically are almost like a thumbprint. They’re specific to you,” said Dr. Brittany Walter, a forensic anthropologist with the DPAA. “We have something called chest radiograph comparison where we’ll actually take the chest radiographs from their enlistment records, and we’ll compare them to the collarbones and the neck bones of the chests of the remains that we have.”

Dr. Walter said because of their processes and technology, they’re able to say with certainty that remains could belong to specific service members.

“It’s incredibly humbling to know that we can provide some sort of answer or answers,” said Dr. Walter. “It’s probably my favorite part of the job is to actually talk to those family members. 

Dr. Walter will be the guest speaker of a service happening at the Nashville National Cemetery in Madison.

“Memorial Day has kind of taken on a different meaning since I started working at the DPA about seven years ago,” said Dr. Walter. “We’re confronted with this reality of the fact that the service member made the ultimate sacrifice for us.”

The Memorial Day Ceremony starts at noon at the Nashville National Cemetery located on 1420 Gallatin Pike South. Music will be provided by the Robertson County Community Band.