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Local family remembers son for the Memorial Day holiday

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 10:09 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - This Memorial Day seemed to be a chance to return to normal, with loosened COVID-19 restrictions prompting gatherings and outings, but for military families who have lost a loved one, life will never be normal again.

One family is spending the holiday remembering their loved one.

“It just means so much to know that they are not forgotten,” Marynell Winslow said.

After graduating from Hoover City Schools, Ryan Winslow was only 19 when he deployed to Iraq with the United States Marine Corps in 2006.

“In Iraq, there were so many roadside bombs,” Winslow said. “Part of their mission was to go a head of the tanks and the other parts of the battalion and make sure the road was safe.”

Ryan’s mother, Marynell Winslow, said she’s proud her son decided to join the military.

“He wanted to be a marine, he was living his dream,” she said.

But his dream was cut short.

“Three weeks after he left on his first deployment, he was killed by a roadside bomb,” Winslow said.

Winslow said losing her son was traumatic, but the Hoover community help get her family through.

“The American Legion post in Hoover is named after Ryan,” Winslow said. ”The whole community has meant so much to us.”

Winslow said her family spends every Memorial Day celebrating Ryan and the other men and women who have lost their lives.

“So many people look at Memorial Day as the start of summer vacation,” she said. “Barbecuing and having a good time with family. I think that is great, but just take a moment to stop. Stop and think about what Memorial Day is about.”

“Please don’t forget our family member,” Winslow said. “Please don’t forget what they stood for.”

Winslow said her family plans to visit Ryan’s grave at the Alabama National Cemetery.

The cemetery is holding a service for the holiday, and Winslow said her family will present a wreath representing The United States Marine Corps.

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