SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — People observed Memorial Day across Northeastern Pennsylvania. In Scranton, dozens of people came out to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the country.
Today’s ceremony was emotional as it also was a way for a man to connect with his father, who died in service.
Over 10,000 veterans are buried at Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton. Over the past few days, members of the Koch-Conley post 121 put an American flag on each and every grave.
“We remember those who made the supreme sacrifice so others could go out buy a car have a barbecue buy a mattress. But today is a day of remembrance,” said Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Albert.
The past’s annual ceremony was held virtually last year due to the pandemic. Post Commander Albert says he is glad to be able to hold it in person and honor those that lost their lives.
“The bottom line is we have been doing this every year and we will continue to do it because somebody has to remember those who fought,” stated Albert.
Lieutenant Colonel Albert says the ceremonies are very important to veterans.
“You have to be one to appreciate it. The public sees a bunch of people standing around talking but to get veteran, if you haven’t been in the military you really cannot appreciate those who served with you. Those who became your friends and those who never made it back,” said Albert.
Kenneth Hess’s father was one of those people who never made it back. His father died serving in the Vietnam war in 1969 when Hess was just six months old.
“He never got to see me. His father got killed in world war 2 and never got a chance to see him. So I know when my mom was handed the flag was off the coffin how important the flag was not only to me but to the countless Americans,” said Hess.
Hess says he is honored to speak at the ceremony. He says Memorial Say to him means that his father’s memory, along with the memory of those who have fallen in the past, will be alive again.
“For a little guy like me to come in and be able to speak it really makes me feel that i made my dad proud after all these years,” stated Hess.
He believes there should be a piece of Memorial Day in every day.
“We should be thankful to be free thankful to people who gave their lives and try to be better humans because we have that right to be,” said Hess.