Veterans reflect on meaning of Memorial Day during annual Aiken Memorial Day Parade

America's military men and women were honored at Aiken's annual Memorial Day Parade.

Aiken, South Carolina –  America’s military men and women were honored at Aiken’s annual Memorial Day Parade.

America's military men and women were honored at Aiken's annual Memorial Day Parade.
America’s military men and women were honored at Aiken’s annual Memorial Day Parade.

The best part of the parade, besides the patriotic floats and amazing marching bands, was Americans standing up to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. On a weekend that many people take time to reflect on America’s fallen heroes.

“What does Memorial Day mean to you?” Asked WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“It means that I have a lot of friends in the service and some of them didn’t come back,” said World War II Veteran Howard Neleigh.

America's military men and women were honored at Aiken's annual Memorial Day Parade.
America’s military men and women were honored at Aiken’s annual Memorial Day Parade.

“Memorial Day meant visiting cemeteries,” said Korean War Veteran Fredrick John Hryniewich.

The National Day of Remembrance, a day to honor the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom is celebrated from sea to shining sea. Yet, for many former and current service men and women it’s both bitter and sweet.

“I think of all the people who have done so much for our country. Those people who gave their all, some old friends that never came back.” World War II Veteran Sheldon Robinson told WJBF News Channel 6.

“I’m really amazed at Aiken,” said Neleigh.

America's military men and women were honored at Aiken's annual Memorial Day Parade.
America’s military men and women were honored at Aiken’s annual Memorial Day Parade.

“Being a Marine has changed my life and I still will always cry when I hear the Marine Corps hymn,” John J. Baxter, a Veteran of the Marines, told WJBF News Channel 6.

Some World War II Veterans watched the Aiken Memorial Day Parade from inside a trolley, reflecting on a different time.

“The Germans actually were going to invade the United States at one time from their subs and they would stay 7-8 miles off the coast. So they know we wouldn’t bother them, but we sure did scare them,” Neleigh told WJBF News Channel 6.

Members of “The Greatest Generation” say part of remembering our nation’s fallen heroes is also understanding what truly makes America the land of the free and the home of the brave.

“This is a good way to teach people about the past of this country and the people who help make it a great place,” Robinson said.

On Monday May 30th, 2016 at 3 p.m. a national moment of silence will take place for 1 minute.

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