JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Memorial Day is a time to honor all those who sacrificed themselves for our freedom, and a local veteran shared with News Channel 11 how he takes the day to remember those lost.
Local Vietnam Veteran Moe Baines said he spent a lot of time in the military, and that the true heroes are the soldiers that gave everything, even their lives, for our country.
“Being a veteran is something that anyone can do that really wants to put the effort into it,” said Baines. “But the real heroes are the people that paid the ultimate price.”
Many people who have fought for our freedom are locals from the area.
“Just in the Vietnam War alone, we lost about 1200,” said Baines. “And from Tennessee, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a lot of people.”
Some of those local war heroes are buried at the Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City. Brenda Barnette, a former Chair Member of the Johnson City, Washington County Veterans Memorial Foundation said there are over thousands of Military veterans buried at the cemetery.
“They’ll [visitors] see like 16,000 plus gravesites,” said Barnette. “That reminds us how many people from here and local areas died in the wars.”
Baines said he takes time each Memorial Day to remember the soldiers who never made it home and died fighting for our freedom.
“This is the day that we remember the people that stepped up to the plate and gave all they had, they never got to come home, never got to see their family again,” said Baines. “That’s the ones that we want to remember this Memorial Day.”
The Johnson City, Washington County Veterans Memorial Foundation built the downtown Johnson City memorial to honor local lives lost.
“We built the memorial, right now, it has over 2,000 names on it,” said Barnette. “There’s about 350 Washingtonians [Washington County locals] on it, it’s just a constant reminder of our freedoms and who saved it for us, who sacrificed for it.”