HAWTHORNE - A special Mass was celebrated today at Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne, honoring veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces.

Hundreds of people gathered for the eighth annual Mass, including veterans from World War II through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This day is a reminder that we still have a lot of boys over there serving,” said Emily McLaughlin, of Hawthorne. “We may not know them, but we keep them in our prayers."

The special Mass comes just days after Eric Shinseki’s resignation as head of Department of Veterans Affairs. Shinseki stepped down after a firestorm of criticism concerning delays, which were sometimes deadly, for veterans waiting for care at VA hospitals.