Local veteran reflects on his service
SUNNYSIDE, Wash. - On Memorial Day, we honor those who lost their lives serving our country over the years.
One local World War II soldier from Grandview, Dave Van Dyke reflected on his service and the friends he lost during battle.
Van Dyke served in the war for three years and said he was happy to serve and thinks the Army helped him learn and grow as a person.
"I think it made it possible for me to be successful in several different enterprises," he said.
After the Army, he opened a barber shop in Grandview that he ran for 35 years.
Van Dyke gathered with hundreds of other community members at the Lower Valley Memorial Gardens on Monday. Over one thousand flags were placed at veterans' graves throughout the cemetery to honor them this Memorial Day.
The American Legion Post 73 in Sunnyside held a service at the War Veterans Memorial in the cemetery to honor our local veterans.
Post Commander Greg Schliebe said this holiday is a time for reflection.
"This is a holiday where we actually take the time to really be very solemn and remember those who have given their lives during war," Schliebe said.
He said they put on this ceremony annually and it's for the families of the fallen veterans so they know the community is remembering and honoring their loved ones.
"They're still trying to get closure, they're still trying to make sure that nobody has forgotten the sacrifices that their family made and their loved one made," he said.
Van Dyke's family is one of those appreciative of the Memorial Day services. He and his wife Betty of 72 years live in the Lower Valley. Six of Betty's eight brothers served in World War II as well and one was killed.
They said the war was a hard time for the whole family but Dave is very proud of his service.