BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — Bristol’s Fraternal Veterans and Civic Council held a Memorial Day ceremony at the Cumberland Square Park War Memorial on Monday.
Local members of the council said they come to Memorial Day events to honor their friends and colleagues that didn’t make it home from serving in the military.
“A lot of people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day,” said retired commander Harvey Anderson. “Veterans Day is for all veterans. Memorial Day is for the remembrance, recognition, honor and observance of men and women who have died for this country; have died in service, in conflict.”
Anderson told News Channel 11 that Memorial Day is much more than the holiday that kicks off the summer season.
“A lot of people think Memorial Day is just the start of summer, and it’s a whole lot more than that, especially if you’ve lost people,” Anderson said. “And I’ve lost a couple of classmates who went to the Naval Academy, lost several classmates in various battles and things, lost a good friend, lost several people. Memorial Day is a special time that most people unfortunately overlook.”
Anderson said ceremonies like Bristol’s and many that happened Monday across the Tri-Cities help keep the true reason for Memorial Day alive by taking time to honor and remember those lost in military service.
“If you look around here today, it’s a little cool, it’s rainy,” he said. “We still probably have a hundred people out here, even on good days we don’t get a lot of people, too. But you always get the veterans [to attend] and they have a special interest in this. And rightly so. Unfortunately, more people should be involved in this [ceremony].”