Monday, May 26, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) --
Several groups gathered to honor those serving in the military and to remember those who gave their lives during their tour of duty. Folks gathered at the Georgia War Veterans nursing home in Augusta, Wade Hampton Park in North Augusta and Bellevue Cemetery to pay their respects.
American flags were planted all around Augusta today, honoring those soldiers who gave their lives in service. Even more powerful than the displays around the area, are the stories people have about why today is so meaningful.
People gathered around today to pay their respects for Memorial Day. For the Mcleod family, it's impossible to forget what this day stands for.
The family has served in the military for three generations -- and they've had a lot of close calls.
Charles Mcleod served in Kuwait during Desert Storm. He remembers, "I was crossing the road to eat dinner with my platoon, and i was struck by a car, and I only suffered a broken collar bone and a head injury, and I should have been killed."
Coming that close to death makes Mcleod feel more connected to the soldiers remembered today who paid the ultimate sacrifice. He said, "I now have to carry the mantle that they left behind for me."
But that is not the only miracle the Mcleods have seen in their family. His father also had a close call with death during his service.
Etta Mcleod remembers how in Korea, medics believed her husband had passed, but that wasn't the case. Etta said, "They came back to get his dog tags, and found this fresh blood, so they knew he was still alive."
Those memories make it impossible for this family to forget what today signifies. Charles Mcleod said, "Memories of men will die, so we have to remember, we have to remember their sacrifice."
So on this day the Mcleod family wants others to remember, this is not just a day off from work. Etta Mcleod said, "Well holidays are important, and having a day off from work is important, but we should never forget the freedoms that we enjoy and the people who gave, and in this case made the ultimate sacrifice."
Sacrifices remembered on this American holiday.