WACO, Texas (KWTX) A housing community in Waco made sure Memorial Day wasn't just about having fun in the sun.
Residents of the Villages at Twin Rivers shake hands with veterans celebrating Memorial Day. (Photo by Clint Webb)
Bagpipes played and songs celebrating America were sung in the courtyard of the pool house at the Villages at Twin Rivers Monday evening.
Homeowners in the subdivision remembered those who died while serving our country, by honoring those who survived: every veteran there was asked to come forward and introduce themselves to the crowd, and say when and where they served.
"It hurts, it hurts," said Dennis Young, U.S. Army veteran and Twin Rivers resident.
Young says this day is always hard for him.
"It's a rough day for me every time it comes up, and a lot of the guys that I served with in Vietnam, we have connected, and we all reflect on those days and those people that we lost," said Young. "They weren't able to enjoy all the great blessings that we've got here, and it's tough to reflect that they've missed that."
Sponsored by the Village at Twin Rivers' activities committee, the Memorial Day event featured the Midway High School JROTC Color Guard and bagpiper William K. "Kermit" Brock, a retired U.S. Army Chaplain.
While the day makes him sad, Young, who served as First Lieutenant in the Army's field artillery as a forward observer, said he felt proud Monday because it showed how Vietnam Veterans are being treated better than when he returned from war in 1969.
"I remember going through the LA (Los Angeles) Airport: it was the loneliest day of my life because I'm in uniform--they could tell I just got back from Vietnam--and we weren't respected at all, I was there because I had to be, I was there to make sure that my friends made it home, and a lot of them did, but a lot of them didn't," said Young. "Years later, and now, I think we are getting respect, I have a lot of pride right now."
Those attending brought photos of their fallen comrades and family members to display as a meal was shared.