Veterans and their families and members of the community honored the nation's war dead on Monday during a Memorial Day service under sunny skies at Forest Lawn cemetery.
"Today isn't about a long weekend or opening the pool," said Mike Murdock, a Hendersonville native, West Henderson High School graduate and Marine Corps veteran who served two combat terms in Vietnam. "It's not even about veterans. We should honor them every day and we set aside Nov. 11 for them. Today is about the men and women who never had a chance to become veterans or come home and raise and family or grow old with their loved ones."
Memorial Day is about the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who died far from home, often on foreign soil, "often surrounded by strangers or even enemies," said Murdock, who became Henderson County's veterans services officer after retiring from the Marines as a master sergeant nine years ago.
The only way to truly honor those who died for liberty "is to dedicate ourselves to protect it and defend it and show our children and grandchildren the unique and wonderful gift they gave us through their sacrifice," he said.
The ceremony included a flag-folding ceremony by the Air Force JROTC of East Henderson High School, presentation of wreaths honoring the dead from all U.S. wars and a 21-gun salute to honor all veterans.
City's Rhythm & Brews event breaks new ground
Meadows tacks toward center on immigration