Hundreds honor the fallen beneath Old Glory

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – For so many people, Memorial Day is a holiday from work. It means cookouts and a day at the pool. 

Between rows of white marble headstones, hundreds joined Monday to remember why we have the barbecues and pool days.

Beneath a sundrenched sky, Memorial Day on the hallowed ground of Oak Hill Cemetery honored everyone we have lost.

“We owe you our respect, we owe you our freedom,” said Dr. Mark Browning, a retired Navy Captain

The cost is millions who have made the supreme sacrifice on battlefields from the Revolutionary War to the War of Terror.

“The Americans who rest here, and their families, they’re the best of us,” said Browning.

In his dress uniform, Browning proudly wears the stars and stripes on his sleeve. He seems to connect with the 1.1 million American soldiers who have died in our nation’s history. 

“Those are numbers, but numbers don’t mean anything to families,” Browning said. “The individual deaths are not numbers to them.”

Nearly 7,000 U.S. troops have died in the 17-year war in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is 7,000 families who will never forget. Browning hopes no one forgets.

“It means more to me than ever,” said Lisa Johnson. “It is truly to remember, especially all our military, all our folks who have served our country.”

She remembers her mom and dad, Army vets from Vietnam. Both joined the service as teenagers and died in 2014, just five days apart.

Their sacrifice, along with every other proud soldier, allow us to live with the freedoms we have.

“I feel thankfulness and gratefulness,” Johnson said. “Everything they’ve given us.”

So many never made it home, but the flag keeps waiving. Old Glory flies as high as our brave soldiers take it. 

“Look up, see me, see my colors of red, white, and blue,” Brenda Bergwitz said. “I am confident, I am bold, and I am proud.”

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This story was originally published on May 27, 2019

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