MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For many who have served, Memorial Day has a very special meaning.
For some it’s a day of pain, remembering the lives lost during combat.
For others it’s a time to honor the fallen and let others know why it’s important to do so.
But for most all who served, it is more than just a day off from work, barbecues and family gatherings.
It’s a day to remember the lives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
This Memorial Day, WCCO met a group of veterans determined to keep the legacy of the fallen alive.
“A very painful day for a lot of people,” Ranger Landon Norby said.
For some servicemen and women, Memorial Day is every day they wake up and remember those who did not make it back from war.
“These are my fallen brothers and sisters. Typically when we lose one of them in combat the unit gives out bracelets, KIA bracelets, and it’s a way for us to always have them with us,” combat medic Landon Steele said.
Steele knows the pain associated with this day.
He lost close friends in combat.
Steele and others who wear the uniform, like Ranger Landon Nordby, deal with the guilt of surviving.
“With the war still going on, every year it still kind of hits home. There are always the what ifs. What if this could have happened or that, if something could have changed. And I think on this day lot of Vets will revisit those times where they just wish their brother or sister was still here,” Nordby said.
So not to forget the fallen, Nordby and Steele brought veterans and those who support them together.
They walked to the National Cemetery in a display of solidarity.
“Just make sure people remember the real reason for this day,” Nordby said.
With each step they remember and celebrate a legacy of sacrifice they hope one day all will embrace.
“I think it’s important for the young people and the older people to realize why we have the freedoms that we have. And when we walked over to the National Cemetery and you see a sea of white stones you realize the extreme price that that cost,” Steele said.
Nordby and Steele hope their walk this Memorial Day was contagious.
They want to make sure lives lost during combat will never be forgotten.