This Memorial Day, Michigan Radio spoke with veterans who have served overseas about what the day means to a new generation of service members.
Kelli McKinstry of Flint joined the air force in August of 2001. She served in Iraq, and got out in 2007. Now she’s a student at the University of Michigan, Flint.
“I think people are just adapting to the fact that our generation is now war victims, versus Vietnam,” she says.
McKinstry worries that, like Vietnam veterans, the new generation will have to wait years for recognition. She sees evidence of this in the way most Americans celebrate Memorial Day, like it's just another day off.
She doesn’t necessarily want us to grieve, but she wants us to really think about why we have a three day weekend.
“In the past when I was in the military, we'd actually get together and throw roses into the river walk in San Antonio. I believe you should celebrate life lived, not death. So, we were celebrating the life that they lived.”
This story was informed by the Public Insight Network. You can share your Memorial Day stories with Michigan Radio, or share another story idea by clicking here.