Kilgore Educators Support Observance Of Memorial Day - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/12/07-Longview

Kilgore Educators Support Observance Of Memorial Day

   Some East Texas educators, we talked to, are thankful Tyler I.S.D. is shifting gears on the Memorial Day observance.

   "I think it was a wise decision that they decided to go ahead and observe it" said Joyce Jackson, an employee of the Kilgore Independent School District.

  Relief today in neighboring Kilgore over TISD's change of heart.

  "I'm sure some people say its just another day but it's not, you're more aware of the sacrifices that have been made because you've had one over there you've prayed for them daily" Jackson says.

  Jackson's two sons served in the army in Iraq, and says Memorial day should be a profound day to all of us.

  "I'm proud of both of them, proud of both of them. We know what a sacrifice it is and you just have to be thankful don't think people are thankful enough for what's being sacrificed," she says.

  And Kilgore has felt the impact of the war. 4 years ago, the town lost 19 year old marine Stephen Wyatt in Iraq.

  "His name is on that memorial, and he didn't make it home, it brought it home for the whole community" says Jackson.

  The names of veterans from the civil war to Iraq appear on the Kilgore Veterans Memorial monument, Stephen Wyatt among them, but many we spoke with say not observing memorial day disgraces the memory of anyone who has worn the uniform.

  "You knew people that went to Vietnam but it didn't hit home until yours go" Jackson says.

  Some still have childhood friends on the ground in Iraq.

   "My good friend, we grew up together in the same neighborhood in Kilgore went to school together, it hits home more so now that we're actively engaged and have been , knowing someone who's serving" said Maude Laird Middle School Principal Jody Sanders.

   And they hope no one will ever look past what Memorial Day means.

   "Its something that if at all possible should be observed.we should show our respect" Sanders says.  

   A permanent honorary marker was placed at the Kilgore Veterans Memorial in the name of Stephen Wyatt 2 years ago.

  Reported By Bob Hallmark: bhallmark@kltv.com .

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