This Memorial Day, some local residents have taken to creating yard displays as a way of honoring the fallen.
As an Air Force veteran of nearly 27 years, Ron Southern recognizes the sacrifices made by many of his fellow service-members. “It’s a day to honor all those who have sacrificed everything and that means giving their life in honor, in line with serving in the military.”
This year, Southern and his grandson set out to create a display in his front yard that serves as a visual reminder that freedom is never free. “Him and I came up with this plan to do the cut-outs of the military members, and he was my helper during the whole thing, so I have to give him a lot of props, he did all the painting and the base painting on it and cutting out with me.”
Each life-sized cut-out represents someone Ron knew in various branches of the Armed Forces. Along with a display of flags and recreation of raising the flag on Iwo Jima, neighbors and the public have taken interest in the set up. “My neighbor across the street, when I put the airman up and the military members out here, she had to do a double take, she thought there were actually people standing in front of my house in the morning, so I had to explain to her what it was.”
With plans to expand the display and put it up for other military-related holidays in the future, the hope is that it serves as a constant reminder of service. “There’s men who have never made it home, men and women, and then there’s the ‘some gave all, and all gave some,’ and that’s what the true representation of Memorial Day is.”