‘Patriotism is alive’: Cresswind community honors fallen heroes with Memorial Day ceremony

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – With some Memorial Day events being affected by the pandemic, one local community decided to make a few changes to their annual ceremony to make sure they could still honor the fallen.

Usually each Memorial Day, you’d see 150 Cresswind residents at their veteran memorial garden to honor the fallen, but today, despite COVID-19, they’re still determined to honor the fallen — just a little bit differently.

“Everybody knows someone who passed who was a vet,” said veteran Dennis Redditt, president of the Veterans Organization of Cresswind.

Redditt would be honoring his late father, also a veteran, by laying down a brick in the garden on this day, but the Cresswind community’s annual Memorial Day ceremony this year brought residents out into the streets, with their hands on their hearts, making sure to still social distance.

“He’d be the, probably the loudest proponent of this,” said Redditt on what his father would have thought of the ceremony.

Nancy Szkodny created the idea for a safe ceremony.

“Patriotism is alive in our country,” she smiled. She says the Veterans Organization of Cresswind has almost 100 veterans, and the majority of residents know a veteran or is a spouse of a veteran.

Szkodny knew they couldn’t hold their annual Memorial Day ceremony in the clubhouse and by the brick garden, because they usually have around 150 people together in those areas. This time, they planned to social distance, she said. “My husband and I were talking and we said well why couldn’t everybody just stand in their driveway and pledge allegiance?”

Even though their usual ceremony didn’t happen this year, they still remember and honor the fallen.

“Vets remember people. They remember people they served with, they remember people who passed, and Memorial Day is a day where we honor those people,” said Redditt.

One member of the Veterans Organization of Cresswind tells News13 there are names of veterans all the way from World War I to Afghanistan on bricks in their garden.

They still plan to honor veterans in their Veterans Day ceremony in November.

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