‘I understand the great sacrifice’ — residents remember service members on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is meant to mourn military personnel who have died while serving, and on Monday residents came out to show their respects for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Robert Lauderdale, who lives in Falls Church, has biked to each of the war memorials for the last 50 years.

“I understand the great sacrifice that people make,” he said through tears. He said it’s his way of “showing appreciation for those who have died for our country.”

Lauderdale added that it’s important to continue paying tribute to service members so as to remember the price of freedom.

“Look at Ukraine,” he said. “The fight for freedom never ends. And it’s got to be something that we’re constantly vigilant on.”

He added that “if we ever forget, we’ll constantly repeat ourselves.”

Lauderdale also reads the war poem “In Flanders Fields.” He became emotional when reciting the poem at the World War II Memorial.

Michael Kaiser, standing on the National Mall, reiterated Lauderdale’s point, saying “the people who lost their lives in service are the people who fought for our freedoms. And if we want to enjoy our freedoms, we have to remember them.”

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