WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For many, it’s tough to come up with the right words on a day when people talk about sacrifice for family and country.
“I have been to Memorial Day services before but for some reason today really broke me up,” says Keith Johnson, Vietnam veteran.
Keith is quiet and emotional about this display of God and country. The memorial service at Resthaven is moving.
“You do feel a little guilty because you have friends and people you served with that didn’t come back and you know the price they paid,” says veteran David Wasinger.
City leaders came out to take part, alongside veterans and so many others, who want to take a moment to say thanks to current service men and women and those who have passed on.
And there are many, 6,000 veterans have their final resting place here and a flag was placed on each one of their graves.
As for the service on this holiday, it’s a reminder of the grave costs of war.
“I saw a unit for all practical purposes get wiped out, on Christmas. It still sticks in my memory,” says Johnson.
While veterans like Keith Johnson don’t need a reminder they are getting one.
It’s Memorial Day and Keith says services and remembrances are so important, to recognize those who died defending our nation.
“They gave the ultimate sacrifice. It is like this saying in Vietnam, ‘some gave all, and all gave some,’” adds Johnson.
But those who did come home, came home to Kansas and were greeted by what they say is one of the most patriotic homes in the country.
“Kansans love their men and women in uniform,” says Colonel Bruce Heseltine.
Heseltine also took time to put into perspective what it truly means when a family has a folded flag in their home, instead of their dear loved one and how important days are like today to show just what Memorial Day is all about.
“Each family is impacted by that, they are impacted every single day of their life. So I think it is very good to do this to remember the fallen,” says Heseltine.
Many called the service the greatest Memorial Day ceremony they had ever seen.
The Boy Scouts of America donated hours of their time to place a flag on each of the veterans’ graves.