MARTINSVILLE, Va. – "It means a lot, I'm going to tell you," World War II Army veteran John McCain said when asked at a Memorial Day ceremony in Martinsville on Monday what the day means to him.
He said Memorial Day reminds him of the life he's been able to live.
"I came out of the Army in '46, owned and operated two businesses, raised eight children, never been in jail for anything," McCain said.
Retired Army Col. Lewis Turner was the keynote speaker at Monday's ceremony and talked about his realization that future generations may forget what Memorial Day is about.
"I truly hope that all of us here today, and those of our own children, will never let that happen," Turner said.
Magna Vista High School junior ROTC cadet Autumn Willard helped lay a wreath during the ceremony.
She agrees with Turner.
"You honestly don't know how, until you experience (a Memorial Day ceremony), how it feels," Willard said.
Vietnam Army veteran Billy Light said Memorial Day is a celebration.
"It's just a time to celebrate the people that have gone on before us. I was lucky, I served and I came back and I have to feel for the ones that didn't and their families," Light said.
Turner ended his speech by reciting quotes, one of which was from Gen. George Patton.
"General George Patton once said, 'It is foolish and wrong to mourn the death of men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived,'" Turner said.