A feeling of national pride fell over central park in Henderson, Kentucky on Monday for the 72-annual Memorial Day celebration.
Military personnel, military families, and residents of Henderson County came to honor those who paid the ultimate price for their country.
“You find that Henderson is a very patriotic community,” said Colonel Jim Smith. “I lost some friends, I have some friends on the Vietnam wall in Washington and this is to remember them.”
Colonel Smith is a retired member of the armed forces and says that to him the meaning behind Memorial Day has a special significance.
“When I got out of the army you think well I’m a veteran now and you don’t think much about it, but when Memorial Day rolls around you remember, and that’s what it’s all about, remembering,” said Smith.
That significance differs from person to person, so for a recent graduate of the Coast Guard Academy like Lindsey Critser, the day means something different.
“We learn a lot at the academy about the long, blue line which kind of just represents all the coast guard men who have come before us and I think that’s kind of what it means to me now. It’s just being a part of that,” explained Critser.
Critser and her partner Mason Snuggs, another recent graduate of the Coast Guard Academy presented a wreath at the war memorial to commemorate those who fell. Snuggs said that being a part of this event made him remember why he signed up to serve in the first place.
“Just getting to see all the people come out and watch the ceremony, be part of it, and see everybody stand up and honor those people that have fallen, and prisoners of war and those who are serving now, it just really reminds us of why we decided to serve in the first place,” said Snuggs.
Remembering the fallen and celebrating their sacrifice.