Local Veterans Reflect on the Meaning of Memorial Day - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Local Veterans Reflect on the Meaning of Memorial Day

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400 flags line the main lawn of Delaware Technical Community College's Terry Campus. They each represent a veteran that members of the community wanted to remember. (Photo: WBOC) 400 flags line the main lawn of Delaware Technical Community College's Terry Campus. They each represent a veteran that members of the community wanted to remember. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- James Clark served in the Vietnam War for the U.S. Army. He sat down with WBOC to talk about what he remembers most when he thinks about Memorial Day.

"Pictures yourself at [age] 18 and going through this," he said. "It was killing, death everywhere, all around. Some guys are moaning, crying for their parents, their mothers."

We asked him what his most vivid memory of the war is when he thinks of this special holiday. He said it was his first experience coming face-to-face with the enemy.

"They overran our position," he said. "And they were inside. So we were face-to-face with them. When it was finally over, there was a smell that I'll never forget. It's like gunpowder and blood combined. And it was death."

He painted a vivid picture of picking up the body parts of his fellow soldiers to throw in a trench.

Brandt Tue, the commander of local VFW Post 1207 served in the same war for the U.S. Marine Corps around the same time as Clark.

"All gave some, and some gave all," he said. "That, to me, encompasses a really large spectrum."

He says although Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring the fallen, it is also about those veterans who are living and gave other things be it physically or mentally.

"We all gave something just being in the service," he said. "And then some gave the ultimate sacrifice. And that was their lives."

Clark says there is one big misconception about the holiday. He says it should not be celebratory in the way that most people celebrate it.

"You know it's more like a party day," he said. "We're going to barbecue, we're going to picnic. But, it's not really about that."

He says it is about remembering all veterans and their sacrifices. 

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