by Diane Tuazon
MIDLAND - It's the day to honor and remember those who fought and died for country and freedom.
A large group gathered on Monday at the Commemorative Air Force in Midland to pay their respects, and to celebrate the grand opening of the new George W.H. and Barbara Bush Commemorative Center.
"To see their spirit just tugs at their heart. There's a lot of old boys out here who shared their stories. It's a wonderful thing to recognize the veterans and those who have died," Mark Farquhar with the Christian Motorcycle Association, said.
For veterans like Billy Barnell, seeing the community come together to honor our soldiers, brought a smile to his face as proud Americans got together to share a special moment.
"I'm glad to see younger people come out, they're getting more interested, it seems like. I'm glad to see the younger people. I hope they get into it, more and more, because after all this is their nation," Korean War Veteran, Billy Barnell, said.
Barnell says every Memorial Day is emotional for him, especially after he lost three brothers in combat. He says he hopes that people will never forget those who fought selflessly for their country.
"I just like to see people being patriotic, after all, it is for the dead. The ones who have gone before us and can't be here. It's a very solemn day actually, a lot of people don't look at it that way, but I do," Barnell said.
As for Mark Farquhar, riding his motorcycle around town is his way to pay respect to those who sacrificed their life for our freedom.
"There's not a lot that goes on around here on Memorial Day, it's just a real good way to ride and remember the men and women who served our country, fought and died. I'm just thankful for their service," Farquhar said.
The new Commemorative Center is currently open to the public, but C.A.F. Officials say they plan on making it part of the museum tour by the end of this year.
It will then cost ten dollars for general entry.