The men and women who died in service to our country were remembered in a special ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Tuscaloosa on Monday.
Folks braved hot weather and an early morning start, but they were proud to do it. They honored our service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
More than a hundred people gathered at the park. The service gave veterans and their supporters a chance to show their appreciation. Several of the veterans told Fox6 this is not a day for celebration. For many of them, it's a solemn day. They recognize they are here because the service member next to them did their job and, in some cases, gave their lives to the cause.
The guest speaker for the ceremony, Sgt. Major Robert A. Wheat of the Alabama National Guard, made that point to the audience.
"They died defending a way of life that they felt was worthy of dying for. For their families, for their children, for morality, for values and most of all: for their freedom," said Wheat.
The service ended with a wreath laying ceremony at Veteran's Memorial Park for those who died for their country.
Retired U.S. Army Major Jeff Brown is the President of the Veterans Park Association. Brown said during his service, it was comforting to know that he would not be forgotten if he paid the ultimate price for his country.
"On more than one occasion, I thought about the fact that I might not make it through this situation," Brown said.
"But, I never did worry that my squadron was going to hold a memorial service if the unfortunate happened. And that's important for soldiers to realize that if the unthinkable happens, they're not going to be forgotten."
There's a way you can enjoy a Memorial Day meal and support military members, at the same time. VFW post 6022 in Cottondale is hosting its Memorial Day fish fry.
Starting at noon, they're serving plates for eight dollars apiece. The money raised goes to a whole list of services for veterans, active military members and their families.
" We donate to National Military Services, which part of this money is going to. And that also covers our unmet needs program, which is a $2,500 grant for families of military members deployed overseas that may be in danger of getting kicked out of their apartment or they may need car repairs, or medical bills, or something like that," said Walter Turner.
The money also goes to phone cards for deployed soldiers, deployment and homecoming events and scholarships for local students.
The VFW post is located at 7001 University Boulevard in Cottondale. They will serve food until it runs out.
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