INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - It was a project a year in the making. The Veterans Memorial Garden in Indian Trail was designed to be a place where veterans, their families and kids could visit to show their respect to service members, and those who didn’t make it home.
“Remember what this memorial stands for,” said Indian Trail Mayor, Michael Albarea. “Those who sacrificed their lives and, as President Lincoln said, gave the last great measure of devotion.”
The Veterans Memorial Garden includes a ‘Prisoner Of War’ and ‘Missing In Action’ monument, educational material and flags representing each branch of the Armed Forces.
“We always need to remember the sacrifices that people made,” said Timothy Woods, Commander of VFW Post 2423. “I mean, these service people died for our freedoms and if we forget about it, we're going to lose our history.”
Memorial Day shouldn’t be recognized once a year, however.
“This year alone, I know I've done at least 70 funerals,” said C W Smith, a Patriot Guard rider. He makes sure every soldier is honored.
“When a veteran has no family, the turnout of Patriot Guard riders is more extensive,” he said. “They go out of their way to make sure to be there, but our job is to show honor and respect.”
He says they want to show respect to those who signed up to join the service; those who essentially signed a blank check to the United States of America, which could some day include losing their life.
Everyone at the dedication in Indian Trail is hoping the memorial will help expand the knowledge of what veterans and service members have sacrificed, and remember that freedom isn’t free.