Veterans hold Memorial holiday close at heart this year

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was first observed on May 30 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. To celebrate they placed flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Even though that was over a hundred years ago, Memorial Day still means the same and is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.

With Memorial Day falling on Monday, May 31, four local veterans Tom Boggs, Chester Pugh, Dennis Davidson, and Dick Kirkpatrick who all served with various branches of the military wanted to express their ideas and beliefs on what the holiday truly means to them.

Tom Boggs, of Demopolis when expressing what Memorial Day really meant to him, said it’s a time when all the people of America pause and honor those men and women who have passed away while fighting for the freedoms Americans cherish everyday.

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“Americans are like a tea bag, we never know how strong we truly are until we get in hot water,” Boggs said.

Dick Kirkpatrick, of Demopolis when he thinks of Memorial Day, said it is a time for him to think about the men and women he served with.

He also said he thinks about if they’re still living and if they are, where are they currently living.

“It is a special time, when we as Americans must remember those who have died while fighting for the freedoms we love,” Kirkpatrick said.

While Boggs and Kirkpatrick make good points about why Memorial Day is so special, Pugh and Davidson wish more people really understood what the phrase “The National Day of Remembrance” and what it really means.

Pugh said it has a lot of meaning to him especially since he has just come back recently from Iraq. He also said it’s a day that everyone honors those who have died, so the nation can have the freedoms that it currently enjoys.

“The people who haven’t served don’t know what it really means to the people who have served,” Pugh said.

He said when talking about his tour in Iraq, that he would much rather be fighting terrorism over there, then fighting it here in the United States.

Davidson said he thinks about those men and women who have died for our country a lot more then just on the one-day that is set aside nationally to honor them. He also said these men and women made the ultimate sacrifice, when they joined to fight for this country and they ended up paying the ultimate price.

“I just wish more people really understood what Memorial Day means,” Davidson said.