AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The CSRA gathered in downtown Augusta at the All Wars Monument to remember those who lost their lives in battle.
As the Star Spangled Banner was sung, veterans and their families stood with their hands over their hearts and in salute formation.
“Oh say can you see,” the soloist sang.
Under the blue and white stars and red and white stripes, it’s a day for reflecting and remembering.
“We went in together and they spread us out all over the world. When I got out they were already gone,” said Dean Carver, one of just three remaining World War II veterans at the Augusta-CSRA Memorial Day Observance.
Carver is remembering his pals from boot camp while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
“We were just like brothers. All of us were and we went in and we were going to stick together,” he said.
Separated by war, but never forgotten. Flags lowered half-staff gave veterans attending this year’s gathering at the All Wars Monument a chance to recall memories of buddies now gone. Vietnam veteran, Ret. U.S. Army Let. Colonel David Titus shared a time with his fraternity brother, Tony Bellamy.
“He probably had the neatest car that we had in our fraternity. I think it had ten coats of lacquer paint on it. It was absolutely beautiful and it was a convertible,” Titus said.
Titus also remembers that day Tony joined the list of more than 58,000 U.S. Military casualties of the Vietnam War.
He recalled, “Tony was on a field team that was attacked by the Viet Cong and he lost his life in that conflict.”
Wilbert Gallop, who fought both in Vietnam and Korea, reflects on his old pal Chandler.
“I left him in Vietnam, I came here home on an emergency leave. I found out the same place that I was at was overran and he came here to Ft. Gordon for recovery and he later passed away at Ft. Gordon,” he shared.
And while flowers on a wreath are a symbol of that time, Gallop wants to remember the strength and leadership of his close friend.
“Everyone looked up to him. After he got wanted, everyone lost confidence in the whole situation,” Gallop said.
While losing lives was a sad occasion, Carter is hopeful.
“I’ll see them again that’s for sure. God willing, I’ll be there.”