WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Veterans and community members are gathered to remember the life of the only Medal of Honor honoree at the Crestview Memorial Park Cemetery. Thomas Fowler was only 22 when he died in Anzio, Italy in World War II. Legion members and other veterans have spent the day honoring Fowler and all others who gave their lives for their country.
“They didn’t go to war because they loved fighting. They were called to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” Navy veteran John Skelton said.
Honoring our heroes isn’t as easy as it used to be because of the coronavirus pandemic and recent weather. But veterans and family members of vets are determined to honor their loved ones.
“Not necessarily a day of mourning but just celebrating that men and women like them lived and being glad to have served with them,” military veteran Johnny Skelton said.
“We actually try to remember what the actual day is about,” Army National Guard veteran Jeremy Skelton said. “It’s to show honor and pay respects to these guys that are buried out here and all over the world.”
With 5 generations in the military, Memorial Day means something deeper to the Skelton family.
“I was given a chance to serve in the National Guard. My dad actually took me down to the recruiting office, National Guard office. When I enlisted, went to boot camp, late June up to Fort Knox,” Jeremy Skelton said.
“It’s definitely been a family business, one that I hope we don’t have to continue,” Johnny Skelton said. “Looking out today at all the flags that we’ve got out here, it instills a higher sense of pride knowing that there’s members from every walk of life within your community that have answered that call.”
Other families came to Crestview to honor their loved ones as well.
“He had a lot of navy stories. He was on the aircraft naval ship. It was just a joy growing up hearing his stories as he served in the Navy. And I honor him today,” daughter of a military veteran Cynthia Robinson-Wade.
“It means so much to me just to come back. Just bring back memories. I had a good man that just bring back memories. I’m glad to come out here,” widow of a military veteran Jewel Shaw said.
Rain or shine, pandemic or not, nothing will stop Americans from remembering those that have served our country.