Families, veterans honor fallen soldiers in Vancouver
VANCOUVER Wash. (KPTV) - Thousands of people across the Pacific Northwest spent time on Memorial Day, honoring and remembering those who gave their lives while serving their country.
One event in Vancouver brought out dozens of veterans, their family members, and community members to pay respect to those in Clark County who were killed on the battlefield. Julian Hilts is a 95-year-old World War II veteran who was at Monday’s service he recounted his time serving his country while the 204th Army Band played military melodies. He said those memories can be painful to think about.
“I’ve seen things that I shouldn’t have seen so it’s hard for me to talk about the past,” Hilts said.
Hilts said Memorial Day is emotional for him, especially after receiving the Congressional Gold Medal.
“I just didn’t really know what to say. I was very humbled about that,” Hilts said.
He’s thankful he was able to serve his country and is grateful to see so many people in the Vancouver community come out to honor veterans that are still here. And the ones that lost their lives while defending our nation.
“We should honor the people that are not here and people should remember and pass that on to their children,” Hilts said.
On this Memorial Day, the Vancouver community did remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Pictures of Clark County veterans who were killed in action provided a backdrop for Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle and Congresswoman Marie Gluesencamp-Perez to stress the importance of supporting those who’ve served our country.
I spoke to Charles Spuck who brought his father’s shadow box to the ceremony with military memorabilia inside. His father served in World War II and the Korean War. Spruck said Monday was about honoring him.
“Freedom is not free,” Spruck said. “Even though our country has a very interesting history, it’s a day of memory and respect.”
After a gun salute, a wreath was placed under a large American Flag, honoring all who pledged to protect our country. Even though the memories are hard to think about, Hilts said he has no regrets about enlisting at 16 years old.
“We live for this country,” Hilts said. “It’s a great country and I’d do it all over again.”
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