Veterans remember the fallen ahead of Memorial Day

Veterans remember those who have served and are no longer with us, and share what Memorial Day means to them.
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 10:23 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Veterans of the United States military took time to reflect on those who served and have lost their lives at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Captain James G. Lee Memorial Post 1685 on Sunday.

Those who spoke to Alaska’s News Source said they will be remembering someone close to them on Memorial Day.

“We have a lot of my former friends, former co-workers, who have all passed away, and so many of them are out there now,” Alaska Air National Guard Veteran Ellen Lawson said.

“I know of several high school friends that I went through school with years ago, and, you know, they went over there to Vietnam and didn’t come back,” Rusty Kendall, an Alaska Air National Guard Veteran, said.

Several veterans said they take Memorial Day to remember those who were close to them, but also to recognize all those who fell in the line of duty for their country.

“Well, it’s not about me, that’s for sure,” Air Force Veteran David Mignon said. “Just today, when I was walking through the cemetery, making sure that we didn’t miss anything, I just got to looking, there’s a lot of crosses and flags there that just, you know, kind of hit me. There’s been a lot of people that have served, whether they were in combat or not.”

Some said they would be going to Fort Richardson National Cemetery Monday in recognition of the holiday.

“I’m going to probably go out to Fort Rich and go visit friends who are there, just a day to reflect on who they are and who they were. It can be difficult,” Kendall said.

Lawson also recommends that in observance of the holiday, people take the time to recognize the meaning behind it and think about those who served and are no longer with us.

“This is not just a day to have the barbecue,” Lawson said. “You can have a barbecue, but you can also remember the cemetery out there where we just spent the whole morning putting flags on graves of so many. Think of — if you get a chance to go to Fort Richardson to the National Cemetery out there. See, how many of our veterans are out there.”