ROYAL OAK (WXYZ) - "I got a great-great-grandson marching in the parade," said Vayden King when asked why he was at the Royal Oak Memorial Day Parade.
That was the reason the 89-year-old made it out. But it was not the reason to be there.
As King watched the parade you could see the tears welling up in his eyes.
"The older I get, the more American I get," he said.
It is a statement that speaks volumes. King, like many at the parade today, lived the life of a patriot even as a young man.
In 1942, during World War Two he was a sailor in the South Pacific. He remembers bringing home the remains of fallen servicemen.
"That was 70 years ago, so I try not to think about it," said King.
As he watched the Memorial Day Parade he found himself thinking not only of those who gave their lives for our country, but one who survived by his side.
Vayden King's twin brother Hayden died just last month. He served on the same ship in the Navy with him.
"The admiral wanted to separate us after those 5 brothers were killed," said King. "He spoke up first and said, ‘Sir, we came in together and we're ready to leave together.' And the admiral said, ‘Enough said. Have a safe trip.'"
He is grateful they had a safe trip and enjoyed each other for 89 years.
This Memorial Day he hopes all Americans take time to remember the sacrifices made for our country.