By Christopher Smith
CHATSWORTH — Joan Dooley of Eton said Memorial Day weekend is always an emotional time for her as she thinks about the sacrifice of men and woman in the U.S. military who served in war.
“So many young people don’t understand what these people (veterans) did for us,” she said. “They don’t appreciate it. But I do. And I’m so glad I live in the United States of America.”
Dooley joined several locals at Murray County Veterans Memorial Park to honor veterans and witness the dedication of a monument to honor veterans and the county’s Gold Star mothers — those who lost a child to combat.
“I grew up in the Vietnam War-era and I remember those boys and their mothers,” Dooley said. “I think the dedication is just so awesome. I came from a long line of veterans. This is a special for the mothers to honor their sons — those who have preserved the freedom that I have. They have made it possible for me and my family.”
Diane Perry of Chatsworth said she feels the same way.
Perry came to the ceremony to support her brother, Staff Sgt. Doyle Deal, a veteran with two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat in Iraq.
“This day is important to my family,” she said. “It makes me think of my mother mostly. This would mean a lot to her. She’s no longer with us. But we will always remember.”
So will Barry Abercombie, a retired Marine Corps veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War.
“It’s just a day of remembrance for me,” he said. “It’s a day for those who have fallen, those serving today. Or for those — like myself — who have served. Everyone should take the time to remember today.”