The Meaning of Memorial Day

Modupe Idowu

Many West Tennesseans are looking forward to barbecues and family outings for Memorial Day, but veterans will take time to reflect on those who did not make it back home.

Russ Martz fought in the Vietnam War and served in the military for six years.

"I think the vast majority of people in Vietnam that were killed were 21 or 22. And now that I think about it, my kids are older than that now,!" said Martz.

The former Marine now lives in Medina but will never forget what life was like at war thousands of miles away.

Martz said, "You don't want to think about it, but you do because it's part of you. It's part of being a veteran."

"For anybody in the military, that was in the military, Memorial Day to them doesn't mean the first day of Summer or going shopping for sales. It's a time of reflection. Especially, for those of us who were combat veterans. We reflect even deeper on the people who didn't make it back," said Martz.

He said losing his close childhood friend, Michael Charley just hours before his flight home, still haunts Martz today.

"He spent all that time over there and that's it," said Martz.

This holiday weekend, the veterans wants people to remember people like Charley for their sacrifice.

"Think about why you're having that barbecue and why you don't have to go to work on Monday. Remember those people," said Martz.


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