APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Memorial Day weekend can be a time of fun with family and friends. But its meaning is much greater; it’s about honoring our fallen soldiers.
The Fox Valley Veteran’s council did that on Saturday at the Outagamie Veteran’s Memorial in a ceremony marked with emotion.
“You know, Memorial Day, Memorial Day weekend is to honor those who served their country and fell in the service of their country,” said Tim Cody, part-organizer of the event and president of the Fox Valley Veteran’s Council.”And so, all we ask is that you just take a little bit of time out of your weekend to remember that.”
That’s exactly what the ceremony did in the form of a silent homage.
“The procession was 21 steps to the tomb and the fallen soldier battle cross, and [participants] place carnations or a gold star to represent any of the fallen within the building or anyone in their hearts at the tomb,” Kim Craddock, vice president at FVVC said.
Craddock said at least 30 pairs took part in the ceremony.
While the event was closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, event organizers wanted to make sure that those who have fallen are never forgotten.
“There were some people who could walk by and witness it, but you know, even if everybody is not there, they’re still honoring and that’s part of what our mission is to do, to continue to honor those who served our country,” Cody said.
But their ceremony wasn’t only to honor those who have fallen. It’s also the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Tomb Guard who honor those soldiers, through thick and thin.
“Nobody is more important than our fallen, but our tomb guard are very important too. Our tomb guard do their duty despite all obstacles and they do it in silence. So we wanted to embrace the concept, so why don’t we?” Craddock said.
So when wondering about the true meaning of memorial day, why not ask a veteran himself?
“I’m always appreciative when people come out [and show their support],” said Steve Boutwell, a veteran of the U.S. Army Security Agency.
“I think it’s important to remember those who have given everything, not just a few years of their life,” said Boutwell.