HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Memorial Weekend has begun with many honoring those who lost their lives in county service.
Joanna Bryant, chair of the Cameron County Conservatives, is one of the organizers of a memorial weekend in Harlingen.
She said it was the second year the organization had held the event.
People gathered in Harlingen at the Iwo Jima Memorial to listen to people share their testimonies.
“We never want to forget those who served to protect our freedom, made the ultimate sacrifice,” Bryant said.
She added that the event focuses on honoring the sacrifice of others, “The best way to honor those who died to serve and protect our freedom is to live a life worthy of their sacrifice.”
Marie Vega, mother of two US Marine veterans, participated in the event by setting up the “Missing Man Table”.
“It symbolizes that they are not there but we remember them, we set up a table for them,” Vega said.
Vega said she and her family also set up the table in their home.
“The white tablecloth, to symbolize the pure intentions of the military who responded to the country’s call to arms,” she said.
She explained that the single rose on the table symbolized the blood service members shed as sacrifices to ensure America’s freedom and added that each item on the table held significance not only for the service members but also for their families.
“I want to remember the many soldiers who fought and lost their lives and I want to honor them and honor them,” said U.S. Army veteran Paul Tameling.
Tameling is also a retired pastor and survivor of a World War II camp, where he was rescued at the age of eight.
“I give thanks and honor and honor to the soldiers who finally liberated us,” Tameling said.