INKSTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — Memorial Day commemorations start this weekend, with folks across metro Detroit honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
For Tracy, Memorial Day is personal. The 54-year-old will be taking part in the Inkster parade, remembering her father, who not only served as an army medic but was also a prisoner of war.
"Of the POWs that were captured, at that time, he was the only African American," said Tracy.
For London Bell, commemorating Memorial Day is about connecting with other military families.
"Gold Star families try to gather together because we often feel like people may not understand what it feels like," said Bell.
A Gold Star Family status is given to the immediate family members of a fallen hero who died while serving in a time of conflict.
Bell is Ssgt. Vincent James Bell’s elder sister. A Detroiter and a marine, Vincent Bell just 30 days into his fifth tour, was killed in the line of duty.
"Very caring person, he cared deeply about the marines that he served, and he made friends everywhere," said London Bell.
And now every holiday, her heart breaks seeing that empty chair at the dinner table.
"You know we love him very much, very very proud of him for serving our nation, for following his calling, we wish he was here with us," said London Bell.
She says one honorable way to commemorate Memorial Day is to hold a moment of silence and call out the names of all the fallen local service members.