Veterans and civilians in Mobile commemorated Memorial Day at the crack of dawn.
A special flag lowering ceremony took place at Battleship Memorial Park.
About a hundred veterans, family members, and supporters gathered at the Vietnam memorial at the park for a ceremony lowering the flag in honor of the men and women who died for our country.
One of the organizers, Vietnam Veteran Joe Birindelli said, “It’s a tribute to our men who fell in combat, and, this is our day to recognize them and appreciate the sacrifices they made.”
THE PLEDGE AND A PRAYER
There was the Pledge of Allegiance, and a prayer.
In the prayer, a veteran asked, “Lord Jesus, we remember the day and the ones who have fallen in battle, serving our country. Freedom is not free if someone dies.”
Major Mawk Arnold is a marine and served in World War II.
Arnold said, of his memories of the war, “It was tough, it was awfully tough, and, a lot of friends were lost, and that’s the toughest part of it.”
THE VIETNAM LEGACY
Tom Schwarz fought in Vietnam, a war that officially ended forty years ago, but the Vietnam Memorial still gets new names.
Schwarz said, “It was the longest war that America had at the time, and we’re still dying from it. They just added three names to the wall in D.C. just less than a month ago.”
Birindelli remembers what it was like when he and and other Vietnam veterans returned to the United States right after the war.
He said, “I was fortunate. I know a lot of guys got yelled at and spit upon, things like that. In my case, what I suffered was just indifference.”
When asked what he would like young people to know about veterans on this Memorial Day, Schwarz says this: “Respect the veterans, thank the veterans, and, most certainly, love them like you do this country.”