Hundreds gathered for the Memorial Day ceremony at the North Carolina State Veteran’s Cemetery to pay tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Decades after serving, some veterans in the East said they remain committed to ensuring the sacrifices those who died made aren’t forgotten. The mission is especially important for Vietnam Veterans like Paul Siverson.
“We weren’t welcomed home like today, and that’s one of the reasons our generation says we will never let happen to today’s veterans what happened to us,” Siverson said.
Part of remembering those who served the country is taking care of the people they left behind. Mary Alice Gomez’s husband Randy Reichler died two years ago, but she said the military community is making sure his memory stays alive.
Reichler was committed to ensuring veterans had the benefits they deserved.
“People that surrounded him come to me and say what a change he had made in their life,” Gomez said.
For other veterans, Memorial Day is a time to reflect back on those they served with who weren’t fortunate enough to make it back home.
“I don’t like to hear all those names read and everything, but it’s a necessary evil,” said Robert Baum, a Korean War Veteran.
Siverson said he is glad that the country now rallies behind its troops since they are true heroes.
“It makes me feel good to know that America hasn’t abandoned our veteran’s and our heroes today,” Siverson said.