Local veterans remember their fallen brothers and sisters on Memorial Day

NOW: Local veterans remember their fallen brothers and sisters on Memorial Day

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- Last year Memorial Day events faced widespread cancellations due to the pandemic, but this year many were able to gather due to more people getting vaccinated.

“While I was in Iraq I lost a good friend of mine so it’s very important to me that I get to honor him today," said Army Veteran Herb Begeman.

“And remember him, he’s right here in your heart brother," said Army Veteran, Bill Gee.

Coming together at the VFW in Mishawaka is how many local veterans in Michiana decided to spend today the holiday this year, remembering their fallen brothers and sisters.

“We weren’t able to do it last year because of all the COVID and what not. We were able to do something today. It’s like the rebirth of us being able to start enjoying America again," said Gee.

Although the holiday does feel like a rebirth for many with the return of events, for Stephanie Milley, it’s the first time she won’t have her father, a veteran who lost his life late last year.

“Every year it was always you know a special memorable day where we honored the vets, but it’s just like I said harder this year because he’s not with us and it means more. Freedom isn’t free and he always said that," said Milley.

Despite the emotions for many the holiday is one that’s so much more than just a day off from work or school.

“We’re proud to be an American and we’re proud to be American veterans. Ain’t that right buddy?," said Gee.

The VFW will be hosting a member appreciation day here in Mishawaka for veterans on June 12th.

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