Despite the rain on Monday morning, a number of veterans and supporters arrived at the Yadkin County Park for the annual Memorial Day service. The service was moved to the another location, but several veterans still took the time to stand outside in the rain and reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day.
“It’s to show respect for all the military people that have lost their lives,” said Jerry Gough of Yadkinville. “It’s to remember them and the sacrifices they’ve given and continue to give.”
Gough served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1964.
Paul Hutchens, who served from 1953 to 1955, also reflected on the meaning of the day and the importance of recognizing the service members who have lost their lives while serving the nation.
He recalled the start of World War II when he was nine years old. Hutchens and Gough chatted for several minutes about people from Yadkin County who went to war and never returned as the rain slowly pattered all around them.
Ricky Parks who served in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan listened quietly as Hutchens and Gough spoke.
“I’m here because of these guys right here,” Parks said. “They paved the way for us.”
“These guys right here and the ones that didn’t come home, that’s why I’m here,” Parks added.
Yadkin County School Board member Sam Crews was also among the visitors who came to the park Monday morning in anticipation of the Memorial Day service.
“It’s a special but a somber ceremony and I always enjoy it,” Crews said. “It’s a somber day, but it’s what has made America so good over the years all these men, and women both, sacrificing and serving this country so that we can have freedom and liberty.”
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.