Flag Ceremony Held at Old Fort for Memorial Day

Published 05/27 2014 02:15PM

Updated 05/27 2014 02:25PM

Memorial Day weekend is a nice time to spend with family or go on a trip but the holiday isn't about a 3 day weekend.  The purpose is to remember the service members who put their lives on the line for our freedom.

To honor that sacrifice, volunteers at the Old Fort organized a flag ceremony.

The Old Fort in Downtown Fort Wayne is known for it's reenactments of different eras in time but it has all changed to honor our veterans and fallen heroes.

It did not focus on life hundreds of years ago.  Instead, the focus is on the lives of our local war veterans who served in everything from the Gulf War, to World War II.

"I feel real fortunate that I am above ground."

Lynn Shady is a veteran of the Korean War.  He currently arranges funerals for local veterans with the American Legion 241 of Waynedale.

"We did 90 funerals all the way from WWII through Vietnam through some of the younger veterans."

He says he does it because he cares.

"Tears shed and it really gets to ya and I'm gonna make sure we do our part to make sure they get a good send off because they really deserve it."

Also at the Fort were a few WWII veterans.  WFFT spoke to Lewis Harrison and Gaylord Conrad who have been friends since 1946.

"I think back at losing so many of my friends that paid with their lives and this day means so much to me and that way we can enjoy the freedom that we have that was paid on our behalf."

Conrad and Harrison are just 2 of about 26,000 WWII veterans living in the Hoosier State.

"I've heard how many of them are dying daily and that's a startling figure."

The US Veterans Administration says men of this war are dying quickly, at a rate of about 555 veterans everyday.  These 2 remember the many they served with.

"I think of my own friends and he an I went on this honor flight and already several people that were on that flight have died."

It's those brave men and women whose lives were lost on assignment or after returning home, who give Memorial Day it's meaning.

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