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Lawton, Fort Sill Vets Honor Fallen Service Members

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LAWTON Okla_ Local military leaders from both Fort Sill and Altus came together Friday to celebrate Memorial Day with veterans.

The Lawton/Fort Sill Veterans Center remembered the more than one million men and women who have lost their lives serving in the armed forces with song and prayer.

"If we don't keep telling the story, we are going to experience the consequences of forgetting the story or ignoring the story," US Army Veteran Charles Harvey Miley said.

Miley said he was in the army. He worked in intelligence during World War II. He was injured in France during the Battle of the Bulge. His injuries kept him from continuing his service, but his time in the army shaped his being.

"It meant a great deal of growth and satisfactory and satisfying growth," Miley said.

That growth as a person and the community he is surrounded by at the Veterans Center remind him why Memorial Day and history are so important to the nation.

"I feel that if we don't keep telling the story and telling it accurately, then most of what we have accomplished would disappear," Miley said. "We would be in increasingly bad shape as a nation if that disappears from the warp and the woof of our living. We simply would not be what we are as a nation."

Colonel Michael Greiner of Altus Air Force Base also spoke to the importance of Memorial Day weekend.

"This is a continuing legacy," Greiner said. "Our nation is forged by those who have made that ultimate sacrifice back to the Civil War to World War I and even today."

He said we should make an effort to remember these sacrifices every day, especially since we are still a nation at war.

"It is important to remember that there are still those out there," Greiner said. "There are still those that, this very month, will give their life and will make that ultimate sacrifice."

Friday, he shared what Memorial Day means to him. It is family. He said it is honoring the American Flag and those who have gone before us. Memorial Day is a day his dad taught him was more than ordinary.

"That stark remembrance right there in front of you that today was a special day," Greiner said. "It wasn't just any given Monday. It was a Monday to pause and just to remember those who have gone before us."

He said this weekend is a time to honor and thank the armed forces.

"All of the things that many of these dear people, many of who we had here today, have contributed to our life, our civilization and our continuance as a significant world power," Greiner said.

A national moment of silence will be held on Monday at 3:00 PM to remember those lost. Friday begins a weekend dedicated to honoring the men and women who devote their life to service.

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