THEODORE, Ala. – A special Memorial Day program was held in the Fowl River community Sunday.
Veterans and their families from various wars attended the Memorial Day tribute at the Fowl River Community House.
World War II veteran, Dr. Sidney Phillips was one of the special guests. Phillips survived some of the most brutal battles of World War II. His life was featured in the documentary “The War” and the HBO mini series “The Pacific.”
Phillips said Memorial Day reminds him of a relative who lost his life in service fighting the same war.
“I always think of my uncle Charlie Tucker on Memorial Day. I never forget him he’s always 23 years old in my mind,” Phillips said.
At 89 Phillips said Memorial Day is one of the most important holidays.
“It’s a chance to talk about patriotism and God, and our wonderful nation, and to remember the fallen boys who have died. I look forward to it every year almost as much as Christmas,” he said
Another World War II veteran was also on hand. Art Slack spent more than year in Alaska during the world.
“My final destination was Alaska, which is next to the last island before you get to Russia. That’s where the weather is known to be the worse in the world,” Slack said.
The program included bell strikes for the fallen in each branch of service.
Colonel Pat Downing was the guest speaker. Downing is a career Army officer, and a former Green Beret. He served two tours in Vietnam.
“My generation was the Vietnam generation, and when I think about Memorial Day I think about those that were with me in Vietnam and those that did not return. And as far as i’m concerned those are the real heros. Those who fought for our country, but did not return,” Downing said.
And Downing had a reminder for everyone this Holiday.
“That’s the purpose of Memorial Day, to take a short break, pause and remember those who died keeping our country free. There’s nothing wrong with going to the beach, and nothing wrong with having a barbecue but I would ask those that are involved in those activities to take a moment, if it’s just a moment of silence and think about those who died in service to our country keeping all of us free,” he said.
The Memorial Day tribute was sponsored by the Common Sense Campaign Tea Party.