POOLER, Ga. (WSAV) — At the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, 26,000 flags have been planted representing the 26,000 airmen that were lost during World War II.
On Monday, a special ceremony was held to honor those brave men that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.
The ceremony kicked off with remarks from current and former military members — like retired U.S. Army Air Force member Jim Frolking, who served from 1942-1945 during the peak of WWII.
“My first mission was on D-Day, and I’ll never forget the sight of seeing those 7,000 ships. It looked like you could just step from England all the way to France just by walking on ships one after the other,” Frolking said.
During the ceremony, a special B-17 flyover took place, as well as the presentation of an honorary wreath. Paying homage to those that gave their lives on the battlefield more than 75 years ago.
“Memorial Day is a very important holiday and it just isn’t for veterans. It’s for those that gave their last major of sacrifice to their country, and there’s 400,000 of them during World War II, and a day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about those people and the 70 pilots that we lost in our little group overseas during that year from 1944-45,” Frolking explained.
In the background of the memorial garden, you can hear a roll of names playing on loop. Honoring every single airman who died during World War II.
In total, the recording lasts 66 hours.
Even though Memorial Day recognizes the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice, Colonel Brent Bracewell of the Georgia Army National Guard says, there’s more than one way to serve our country.
“If you truly want to serve your country, just be the best American you can be. It’s great to serve the military, but the true strength of our country lies in its families, it lies in what’s out here today. It lies in you and that’s the strength of our country,” Bracewell explained. “If we want to serve our country, just be the best mom and dad, husband and father, American that we can be. Just treat other people good. They gave all of their tomorrow’s for our today’s. We can’t take that in vein.”
The 26,000 flags in the memorial garden will be taken down on Tuesday, following their Memorial Day service.