POSTED: Monday, May 27, 2013 - 7:02pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 11:39am
Tyler , TX (KETK) — Memorial Day is more than just getting the day off of work and school.
It's a day to remember the men and women who died in combat.
"This is the most sacred day of all. What we're celebrating and what we're looking back on," said WWII Veteran George Martin.
Memorial Day is more than just bbqing and enjoying the day off.
Americans across the country honor and remember those who died fighting for our freedom.
"It's totally in remembrance of our fallen soldiers and the ones who will fall in the near future," said Vietnam Veteran Gerald Mcfarlin
It was first know as Decoration Day and started after the Civil War to remember union soldiers.
By the 20th century, Memorial Day now honors all Americans who have died serving in the military.
88-year-old Martin fought in WWII.
"Went in at 17 came out at 21 and those are supposed to be the years you use for something else but for me it was WWII and there is no place that I would have rather been than be there," said Martin.
Martin shared with KETK memories from the war still very fresh in his mind and the injuries to prove it.
He remembers the invasion of Saipan and a navy plane exploding in the air and falling down on him and his fellow soldiers.
Killing hundreds of soldiers in seconds.
"We were in a boat for 7-8 hours waiting to go in and to almost get there and lose such a high percentage of our people was a shock that didn't set in for a couple days," said Martin.
Martin visited the WWII monument in Washington D.C.. and was overwhelmed with emotion as he stared at the wall and remembered how many soldiers lost their lives for our country.
"Almost 500,000 young guys didn't come back and you feel that and wonder why you did and they didn't," said Martin.