It can sometimes be difficult, but we can never allow the markers, the conflicts, or the names to blur together.
For veterans and military families alike, Memorial Day is not just once a year. It is every day.
As long as their memories are kept alive, their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
Donna Larson makes it a point to visit her brothers, Gerald and Leon.
Gerald Phillips served in the Air Force, dying in an motorcycle accident shortly after returning home.
Leon attended the funeral, and got involved in the Vietnam Conflict where he was killed in action just one year after his brother.
“I’m here to respect them because I loved them so much,” said Larson. “And I miss them.”
The military has and continues to play a role in Larson’s family.
Despite the potential for danger, she allowed her son and daughter to join the service.
“My children have to make their own decisions,” she said. “And I cannot tell them not to do that. Even Mother’s Day came by and they told me how happy they were that I let them do what they wanted to do.”
Reminders of the past can create sorrow, but any sadness is quickly drained away by the pride they brought and continue to bring to their country.
“Very proud of them,” she said. “Very proud of my children and my brothers. Super proud of them. And very proud of my mother and dad that they allowed them to go to service, too.”
And her family will have quite a bit more of that pride to look forward to.
“I have one Navy, one Air Force, one Marine, and one Army. Grandsons,” said Larson. “And I do a lot of praying.”