New Bern National Cemetery was packed on Memorial Day with visitors who say they wanted to pay their respects to the men and women who paid the ultimate price. But for three women, this is more than just a holiday.
“He wanted to be an MP in the Army ever since he was 4 years old,” say Shirley Reynolds about her son Steven. “He defiantly fulfilled his destiny. He was so proud of his country.”
Steven served in the Army in Iraq. On November 24, 2005, his unit was hit with an I.E.D.
“Not every soldier comes home safe and sound,” says Reynolds.
She thinks about her son every day.
“He’s my guardian angel,” Reynolds says. “He’s with me, he’s with us and he’ll be with my in my heart and my head until the day that I die.”
Theresa Croyale’s son Daniel Smith was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia when he died on March 2, 2006. She says she hopes people realize that for those who have lost loved ones, this is more than a day off.
“It’s not just another picnic day,” Croyale says. “Yes, it’s the unofficial start of summer, but it’s the memory of our fallen.”
Thelma-Ware Ward’s son Bobby Maurice Ware served in the Army during the Gulf War. He died in January of 1991 at the age of 21. She says no matter how much time passes, it still feels like yesterday.
“As long as I live and have breath in my body, I will keep his memory alive,” Ward says.
As many people in New Bern pay their respects this Memorial Day, there is no amount of gratitude grand enough to pay to the fallen and those they leave behind.