SCRANTON, Pa. -- This Memorial Day Weekend is full of events to honor those we've lost, especially those who died in service to our country. One fallen soldier received his medals today in Scranton, 51 years after his death.
On Saturday, Courthouse Square in Scranton was full of veterans with their friends and families to honor who they call one of their "brothers," Lance Corporal Jimmy Reddington, and many soldiers like him, who did not return home from war overseas.
Hundreds came together in Scranton to remember one of the city's fallen soldiers.
"It's my honor to spend a couple days in Scranton and reflect back 51 years on to one of your sons Jimmy Reddington," Colonel Terry J. Ebbert of the US Marine Corps said to the crowd.
Lance Corporal Jimmy Reddington was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1967. For years, friends of Reddington who served alongside him, have gathered to honor his memory and his sacrifice.
What started as three or four veterans gathering at his grave site, has turned into a full weekend of commemorative events to honor Reddington. "It's amazing that so many people remember him and recognize him," says Reddington's friend Bob Worra.
Members of the U.S. Marine Corps spoke to the veterans, their families, and friends, and spoke about the importance of remembering what some lost in the line of duty.
"It doesn't matter what branch of service you were in what your color is we're all brothers we all watched each other back we all watched each other we watched some die," adds Vietnam veteran Sgt. Don Wilmont.
The memorial ended with a presentation of Reddington's 12 military medals, including two Purple Hearts, to the Northeast Detachment of the Marine Corps League.
Lieutenant General Ron Christmas tells Newswatch 16, the community's response this Memorial Day Weekend for Jimmy Reddington has been overwhelming.
"You know I may be an old grunt, but that brought tears right here, very very quickly," says Christmas. "I think America can be very proud of its veterans you know sometimes we forget I think as Americans but it's these men, these women."
Lieutenant General Christmas was Reddington's Commander in Vietnam. He says events like these are about remembrance.
"But you remember them with pride, you remember them with, you remember them with an embracing feeling that says you know I'm not ever gonna forget you," says Christmas.
On Sunday, there will also be a memorial service with full honors at Cathedral Cemetery to honor Jimmy Reddington and other Vietnam veterans. It is open to the public and begins at 11 a.m.