REDDING, Calif - All gave some and some gave all.
That was the tone of Wednesday’s 25th annual Memorial Day Service in Redding.
The event began with a prayer by Mike Mangas.
“Let us think of the red blood that has been shed for our freedom , the white for hope in a better world, and the blue for the sky in the air force… the water in the navy … the dress blues of the army . Marines and coast guard. And today lets us consider the flag a call to peace. A call to no more lives cut short,” said Mangas.
A sea of flags, and flowers covered the civic auditorium lawn as guests sit quietly and solemnly listened as one by one residents came forth to share their stories of love and the lives that were cut too short.
One wife shared her love story with her late husband and marine.
How they dated, what their wedding day was like, and shared her memory from the day he left for deployment.
“It was the scariest day of my life. I remember looking as the hills of the camp. As I left him I cried and I wailed like never before it rocked me to the depth of my soul. I had emotions of pride and fear, love and my own selfishness. As I worried I may never see him again. And I remember telling him as he passed that I was proud to be his wife.”
Then after a few other speakers another woman approached the mic, and shared the story of her friends loss.
“Their grief and mourning that this family has gone through is unfathomable and I know there are many families just like them whose son or daughter has died in the line of duty. And I honor them today for their sacrifice. Today would have been Chad’s birthday. Happy Birthday Chad. “
But more importantly Wednesday was about keeping everyone’s legacy alive.