Beaufort Observes Memorial Day with Parade, Ceremony - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/31/04

Beaufort Observes Memorial Day with Parade, Ceremony

With hundreds of Beaufort Marines and sailors in Iraq, many came out today to show their respect for all those that serve and have served our nation. The Parris Island Band proudly played as hundreds of people lined the streets in Beaufort this morning for the annual Memorial Day parade honoring those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

"It's a beautiful day to come out and honor our men in the service," attendee Everett Hill said.

After the parade, a Memorial Day ceremony was held at the Beaufort National Cemetery.  It was a beautiful ceremony, especially for a handful of World War II veterans who came out to show their respect to their fallen comrades.

"I think we owe it to these people who have passed away to honor them, because they made the ultimate sacrifice," said Clifford Lines, a veteran of that war. "We're the ones that are living here and take advantage of what they gave their life for."

"Memorial Day means honoring these people who gave the supreme sacrifice, the ultimate price that you can pay to ensure the freedom of all Americans," added fellow World War II veteran Artie Heape.

He knows all to well the price of freedom. He lost his brother in World War II and comes every year on this day to pay his respects. "He gave his life to our country," Heape said. "I offered mine, but fortunately I survived and my father survived."

For many World War II veterans, this day is a time to honor their fallen comrades. "It's an honor to be here with them for a moment," veteran Lawrence Sule told us.

The feeling of American pride during World War II is something veterans of that war won't forget. "Everyone had patriotism," recalled Heape. "Everyone I talked to was ready to give the ultimate sacrifice if necessary and the comradery was indescribable."

Those are qualities veterans say the men and women of the armed forces still have. "I have a grandson in Iraq today and I believe they have the dedication we did," Heape said.

Many of the veterans we spoke with today say they'd like to see everyone honor our military and our nation's fallen heroes every day instead of just on holidays.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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