Former Roanoke Co. Public Schools superintendent, Korean War veteran sees Memorial Day as opportunity to respect fallen heroes’ sacrifice

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SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — Flags stretched as far as the eye could see at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem, a visualization of just how many Americans have answered the call to serve their country.

“It’s an opportunity to come back and show our respect to all those veterans who paid the ultimate price and also to the ones who made it through and are still living,” said Dr. Bayes Wilson, former superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools and a Korean War veteran.

WFXR spoke with Wilson about going overseas at the onset of the Korean War. He knows, first-hand, the type of sacrifices made by America’s military service members.

“First year, 1950, 1950-51,” Wilson recalled. “I was in Japan for two years before that and then onto Korea for the first year. When you’re a part of it, you certainly understand, and you have the greatest respect for the fellows who didn’t come back.”

Now, at 88 years of age, Wilson comes to the Veteran’s Garden at Sherwood not only to pay his respects to fellow veterans, but to visit his wife, Ella, as well.

“…where I’ll join her before too long, I’m sure. I’m getting on up there in age, now,” Wilson said with a chuckle.

Wilson says Memorial Day will always serve as a reminder of how strong our country is and how it will continue to remain strong and free thanks to the sacrifices of our brave men and women.

“The spirit of freedom and the respect for those who paid the ultimate price, I think it shows that we’ll never forget them,” Wilson said.

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