NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WJBF)– North AUgusta is honoring those who were lost in the line of duty this Memorial Day. At a ceremony this morning, dozens of veterans gathered at Wade Hampton Memorial Park to honor the fallen.
For some, Memorial Day is a day off of work spent celebrating on the lake or grilling out with loved ones. For our veterans who risked their lives for our freedom– this day has a much deeper meaning.
“It’s not a day of bar-b-q’s and parties. It’s a day of remembering our fallen veterans and make sure they’re not forgotten,” Ralph Wainright, commander of Jesse Lynch Memorial Post 71, said.
And that is what American Legion Post 71 did today: A ceremony took place at the Jesse Lynch Memorial in North Augusta to honor our fallen heroes.
The North Augusta High School N.J.R.O.T.C. drill team started off the event. Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Comstock, the keynote speaker, presented the Memorial Day address.
Dozens of veterans attended– each having their own story. For Bob Ramsey, he says his 26 years of service was a chance of a lifetime.
“Sometimes it’s necessary, and that’s why we have the military forces. But it’s hard, especially on Memorial Day where we actually honor those who have passed on. It’s fun for a lot, but for a lot of us, it brings back some memories that sometimes we’d rather not have,” Ramsey explained.
Paul Harless, Navy veteran, worked on the President Franklin Roosevelt’s yacht, the Potomac. I asked him,”What is Memorial Day to you, sir?” He said, “Oh, the memory. It’s hard to say because there were so many things that did happen. We were in 8 major Island Invasions.”
We need to teach our children that freedom isn’t free. Many people made sacrifices, and many people lost their life, and fought to preserve our way of life. It’s an opportunity for us to honor, teach and tell the stories and make sure no one ever forgets,” Ted Walker with the Aiken County Veterans Council said.
Commander Wainright said people can honor the fallen by simply walking through a cemetery, finding a veteran’s grave marker and putting an American Flag on it. He said taking the time to look at fallen heroes’ that are in hallowed ground shows much needed respect.