Tucson VA holds May 30 Memorial Day ceremony for special reason

For many veterans, reflecting on those they lost can be tough. (Source: KOLD News 13)
For many veterans, reflecting on those they lost can be tough. (Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Memorial Day is typically celebrated on the last Monday of May, but for some old-time veterans there's another day they celebrate the holiday - May 30.

Until Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday in 1971, many vets honored their fallen brothers and sisters on the 30th. The Tucson VA is keeping with that tradition.

Wednesday's ceremony will honor those who died and feature guest speaker Steve Sample, who is the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Assistant Director.

For WWII veteran Ted Masters, Memorial Day is about much more than the ceremonies and guest speakers. It's about thinking about those he loves and remembering those he lost.

"I'm proud of my family. My one son who's the youngest is retired from the Air Force. I have a Navy son. My son-in-law is a Marine. My grandson was a Marine. My two brothers which have now passed, I think of them mostly on this day," an emotional Masters said.

For many veterans, reflecting on those they lost can be tough, especially after the difficulties they lived through and the horrors they witnessed during their time in war.

In the case of WWII veteran Ted Marks, Memorial Day, whether celebrated on the last Monday of May or on May 30, is a time to think about the incredible people he had the opportunity to serve with.

"I remember the 90 guys who served in my platoon ... the contributions they made, and of course just all who've gone before," Marks said.

The ceremony put on by the Tucson VA starts at 10 a.m. and is free and open to all.

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