People talk the true meaning of Memorial Day

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 7:44 PM EDT
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ANDERSONVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - The old, the young, the big, the small, different cultures and ethnicities. Even bikers and stay-at-home moms were the same Monday. That’s because they all had a common purpose, to honor our fallen.

Retired Air Force member Michael Gardner, told WALB’s Gabrielle Ware his thoughts about the holiday.

“Memorial day to me is not a happy celebration. It’s a blessed day,” he said.

He said we need to salute those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“There are military members that were able to hang up their uniform, and there are people here that never got that opportunity,” explained Gardner.

Those people include Albany resident, Sandy Riley’s husband.

“He was military, he was in Vietnam and everything...It’s hard. It’s hard, it’s hard,” she said.

She comes down each year and remembers him to the sound of the bagpipes.

Joshua McSpadden served 20 years in the U.S. Army. He says many people have forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Joshua McSpadden is with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and served 20 years.
Joshua McSpadden is with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and served 20 years.(WALB)

“And it’s sad. It’s not about barbeques. It’s not about having a day off. It’s about remembering the sacrifices people made for those freedoms,” McSpadden said.

His group, The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association comes out every year. He said they mostly see service members and families of service members, but every citizen has a reason to be thankful.

“I think it’s extremely important that us, as Americans, remember who fought for our freedoms. Whether you’ve served or not served,” he said.

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