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Memorial Day holds bittersweet meaning for Big Bend Gold Star families

Posted at 6:18 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-25 19:27:14-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Bonnie McHugh has been a part of the Gold Star family for years now. She became a member after her father died in Vietnam.

McHugh is not happy to be a gold star member, but proud because of her father's legacy. She's a veteran herself who makes sure everyone remembers the reason behind Memorial Day.

She served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield with the Army and now works with the Army ROTC.

"I also get to mentor and be around young people who are going to be our future military," said McHugh.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, McHugh, along with other veterans and families honored those who have passed on.

"We did taps," McHugh said. "We stopped for a moment in silence to recognize those that have passed before us. Recognized each other, because most of us in the patriot guards are in the military."

The Gulf War veteran also reminds everyone to remember why we have an extra day off this week.

"I get kind of upset when people say Happy Memorial Day," said McHugh. "It's not. It shouldn't be. It's a holiday that at least take a little bit of a moment, stop in the midst of your pick-nicking, in the midst of you being home, free. Take five minutes to just stop and remember why we're off today."

McHugh says she's been with Army ROTC since 1982 and has no plans of slowing down.