KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Veterans marking Memorial Day in Kingsport want everyone to understand the true meaning behind the holiday.
The Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council held a service at J. Fred Johnson Park on Monday morning.
“America needs to take time to remember. And today is that day,” said Sam Jones, the council’s president.
Dozens of community members took the time to read the names on memorial pillars and place flags on a cross to mark a lost loved one.
“From World War II, World War I, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, those names that are here that never made it back to be with their families,” said Jones.
For many, the pain and emotion that comes with Memorial Day is difficult to put into words.
“Every defender of freedom taken from us in combat of peacetime is today, and always will be, more than just a name on a wall. Their sacrifice wove the very fiber of strength of this nation today, and is the sole reason this Republic exists,” said retired Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Jeff Broyles.
Members of the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council reminded the community that there are hundreds of families around the region facing the reality of a loved one never coming home.
“I was a casualty assistance officer. So there’s many that I’ve knocked on the door and rendered those honors to those family members. So there’s lots on my heart today,” said Cindy Humphrey, the council’s vice-president.
Humphrey said further, “It’s an honor to be able to help them through the journey. It’s the most difficult journey they’ll ever have to have. But I’m honored to be able to help them through that time frame, and hopefully get them to the other side.”