Phil Hargis: Memorial Day is very meaningful to me. My country, protecting our freedoms, and recognizing all the sacrifices made by so many others before me are all things I am incredibly grateful for and take very seriously.
I am proud of my grandfather and father who both served in the Army. Their service inspired me to join the Army as well. I went to basic training at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and advanced training and Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. Serving my country is one of my life’s proudest accomplishments. So much so that hearing the Star-Spangled Banner played at one of our events or a sporting event gives me incredible chills every time it’s played or sung.
My grandfather is buried at Arlington Cemetery and I go every year on his birthday, with my father, to visit him and lay a golf ball and flowers by his grave. This past year I was able to participate in Wreaths Across America for the first time. It was such an amazing, spiritual, and special day that it will be something I do for the rest of my life. I had the honor to set the very first wreath for his section on his grave. I got on my knees, placed the wreath, thanked him for his service, and ended with a short prayer. It was a blessing to spend the morning with my friend Frank and thousands of volunteer who came out on a cold and rainy day to honor the fallen. Those who have given their lives to our country should never, ever be forgotten.