Memorial Day Parade in Fort Wayne brings back memories for those who served

Memorial Day to many means images of parades and backyard barbeques even the unofficial start of summer. While you hit the pools, keep in mind the holiday has a much deeper meaning.

Posted: May 28, 2018 5:40 PM
Updated: May 29, 2018 6:10 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Among the music, candy, waving, and walking are those who served who can't help but to remember those who didn't get the opportunity to come home.

"It's a little hard to express sometimes because I've lost a lot of friends over the years. I was in the military from 1973 until 2001. I've lost friends at peacetime training, and I've lost friends in combat,"Gary Stebins said.

Stebins served in the army for 28 years.

Every year this day comes around, memories come back, but being surrounded by family helps him get in parade mode.

"Memorial Day is a day to give back and sometimes it really tears me up thinking about the guys I have lost," he added.

Barb Ray's husband passed away, but the parade was a big deal for him.

She's carrying on the tradition of attending the parade with the grandkids.

"They've been coming since they were a year in a half-two years old. They love it. My husband used to come with us before he passed and he loved it more than they did I think," Ray said.

While it's a fun and enjoyable watching the bands and classic cars ride by, the biggest thing Stebins said about this day is for the ones who served and came home safely, to also remember everyone who died in action.

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