Veterans Spread Memorial Day Message to Younger Generations

May 26, 2014

Honoring the fallen, and remembering their sacrifice; that's what dozens of people did in Earlysville on Monday.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2044 held a Memorial Day ceremony, not only to pay tribute to those who died fighting for our country, but to share their stories.

"I think Memorial Day is coming back. I think people are more appreciative, now with the number of wars we have in progress, of what the veterans do and what the sacrifices people in the military make," said Douglass Caton, military veteran and VFW member.

Ben Shaw is an Iraq war veteran and spoke at the ceremony calling on people in Central Virginia not honoring the true meaning of Memorial Day. Shaw said he wants the younger generations to understand the sacrifices members of the military make every day.

"The safety and security we appreciate has been bought with a price, a rather expensive price too," said Shaw.

Many families, like the Heetderks family attended the ceremony. Jim Heetderks wanted his four children to hear Shaw's messages and that of others who have fought for the nation's freedoms.

"We want them to see the veterans who've actually fought in those wars. We really want to teach them what we believe is important about our country," said Heetderks.

Remembering those in uniform is a tradition many said they hope continues on, especially with younger generations of veterans coming home, or laying down their lives.

"It's hard for me to believe the men who fight and die today were far younger than me," said Heetderks. "It reminds me how early those lives were cut off. It's a very humbling thing."

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