Local veteran reflects on the real meaning of Memorial Day

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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LINCOLNTON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s Memorial Day weekend, and though many of us are making plans, it’s important we remember the meaning of it all.

Monday will be a day to honor those who’ve died while serving our country.

We met with a local veteran to hear what this time means to him.

Kyle McCloud owns Back Paddle Brewing in Lincolnton, where the crowd picks up around Memorial Day weekend.

He served 11 years in the Navy and says Memorial Day is more than just having a three-day weekend.

“Memorial Day is not the celebration of the average veteran. Memorial Day is really for those who didn’t make it either that war overseas or the war at home,” he said.

He knows the impact the war can have on the ones fighting for us.

“When you join the military, a lot of us join young, and we experience things we never see back home,” said McCloud. “It affected me losing brothers and sisters in the military gladly those really are brothers and sisters you leave home, and that becomes your family.”

McCloud says the true meaning for him is about remembrance and recognition for those who gave their lives for our freedom.

“One of the best ways we can honor those who no didn’t make it home is to embrace our families, the things that help us on a day-to-day basis, and the things they fought for,” he said.

A bittersweet holiday for some, and local veterans want people to be grateful for life.

“Don’t feel bad about having those burgers and hot dogs and beers because that’s exactly what those folks who died forgave their lives for,” said McCloud. “We’ve lost hundreds and thousands and maybe in the low millions of service members overseas fighting for freedoms, and I think it’s important to remember that and recognize that.”

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