Memorial Day service held in Greenville to honor fallen soldiers

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – In honor of Memorial Day, veterans and the community in one Eastern Carolina city came together to remember those who died fighting in a war.

“Freedom is not free and people need to realize that people give their lives daily to support this country,” N.C. Department of Disabled American Veterans First Junior Vice, Tresa Dula-Sultan said.

Monday, hundreds of veterans, family members, and friends gathered in Greenville to remember and honor those lost in service to their country.

Veteran Paul Smith sat through the Memorial Day service at River Park North’s Science and Nature Center and reflected on the time he served in Vietnam where he lost multiple friends.

“It was very emotional for me but I was proud to be here and to salute our fallen comrades,” Smith said.

During the event, demonstrations showed how to retire an American flag respectfully after it has flown its course and how to properly fold one.

Prisoners of war missing in action, also known as POW/MIA was an important topic discussed as according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, there are more than 80,000 missing in action Americans.

According to Troop 9046 Assistant Scout Master Mike Money, there are groups designed to help families find their missing loved ones. He says it’s important to shed light on these groups as they helped find his wife’s uncle 69 years later after he was killed while serving in Korea.

“You never leave someone behind and thank god we had people who were willing to fight for us because of that, 69 years later his body was brought back and he was brought back to his family,” Money said.

While this Memorial Day is about mourning the ones who are gone, many said it’s also about checking on the veterans who have lost loved ones.

“Always thank a veteran,” Chapter 37 Disabled American Veterans Judge Advocate, Halima Jones said. “Also look out for a veteran and please hug a veteran because you never know that in their time of need, they just need a smile on their face.”

Dula-Sultan said while we’ve lost millions of military service members over the years, it’s important to remember that although they are gone, they’re not forgotten.