Honoring veteran families on Memorial Day

Posted at 5:19 PM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-31 19:57:50-04

ABBEVILLE — On Monday, May 31st, more than one hundred veterans gathered together at the Louisiana Military Museum in Abbeville to honor the fallen soldiers who have sacrificed everything for our freedom and our country.

But the consultant for the museum, Elista Istre, says that they aren't just honoring the veterans this year, they're also honoring the families.

"For a lot of people, Memorial Day is to honor and remember those who are no longer with us, but it's also a day to honor and rally around those who have had to go on without them."

Thomas Thompson, who was a sergeant in the Marines says that today is more than just about symbolism.

"It has a particular deep meaning to me, not so much symbolic," he says. "For those who died on the battlefields, there are those of us that are just waiting for the cold hand of death to strike us because of what we went through, and I just know that sooner or later we will all be back together in union."

Today, Thompson thinks about a good friend he lost in the war.

"I went to pull him out from underneath the fire, but I couldn't save him," Thompson recounts. "Everyday of my life I think about him, but today especially, is one of those days that I remember Sergeant Kenneth Martin from Tennessee, June 15th, 1970."

Thompson says that while it's important for us to honor and remember those brave lives we lost, it's also important to remember those brave lives that live on today with broken hearts.

"For every man or woman that falls in the service of the United States, the family falls as well," Thompson says. "There are mothers who lose their sons and daughters, there are wives who lose their husbands, husbands who lose their wives, and sons and daughters who lose their parents."

To the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to keep this country free, and to the ones still living today to share their memories, we thank you.

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