Fort Smith National Cemetery Honors Veterans At Memorial Day Program

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A Memorial Day celebration at the Fort Smith National Cemetery draws dozens to pay their respects to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

"We should recognize those who have served," Michael Rich, son of a veteran said. "It's beautiful, of course. This is the right thing to do. We have many who are serving who don't know if they're appreciated. I hope this shows that they are truly appreciated."

As dozens celebrate Memorial Day at the National Cemetery, some are taking a personal moment to say hello and thank you to their loved ones.

"I'm visiting my dad who passed away 10 years ago," Dennis Partin, son of veteran said. "He was in World War II and he was on USS Howard. I brought him a little stone that says God Bless America because that's what he taught me; to love America, to love God, to love our family and to do the next right thing."

Those at the National Cemetery for the holiday said people should focus on the true meaning of Memorial Day.

"It's a sense of pride that I live in the land of the free and the brave," Partin said. "It's just something that I feel honored to come out and honor them because they honored us with their duties."

For veterans like Roy Rich, now 100 years old, the meaning of Memorial Day hits close to home for his family.

"It re-instills the patriotism that we seem to have let slide at times," Michael Rich said. "I'm glad we do it because we need these reminders. We need to get together and be reminded what everyone has contributed to make this a great and free country."

Roy continuing to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world," Roy said.

Also at the ceremony was Fort Smith Mayor, Sandy Sanders. He payed tribute to Ed Nagy, who served on the Memorial and Veterans Day program committee at the National Cemetery for many years. Nagy was laid to rest earlier this week.

The keynote speaker was Winston Fulmer, who attended the U.S. Army Field Artillery School and traveled across the world during his military career.

 

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