“We want everybody to know their names”: Gold Star families share the stories of their fallen soldiers

It's a day of remembrance, but also a day of celebrating what they left behind...their legacies.
Published: May. 28, 2022 at 11:18 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

To keep up with the latest local news subscribe to our TV20 newsletter HERE and receive news straight to your email every morning.

HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. (WCJB) - For some, Memorial Day is just a long weekend, but until 12 years ago, it’s no longer about going to the beach and cooking barbecue for Sonya Berky.

“Memorial day in 2010, we figured out what memorial day really was,” said Berky.

Her son Brian was in the Air Force and left behind his son, who he’d only known for three months.

“He had his high school sweetheart wife, a perfect child...you know he had everything he ever wanted.”

At the Memorial Day Celebra-Jam in High Springs, Gold Star families gathered to have some fun, while sharing the stories of their loved ones.

“Have fun, have parties, but remember our fallen,” Berky said.

Proceeds from the event will assist in the completion of a memorial monument in Gainesville for Gold Star families.

“We want everybody to know their names, we want everybody to know how wonderful our kids are.”

The fallen are not just numbers and they’re not boots on the ground.

“They’re sons, daughters, husbands, wives...you know there’s a lot more to them than what lot of people realize. They just say oh, you know it’s another day...but it’s not.”

It’s a day of grief and reflection for Gold Star families.

“Remembering, but also celebrating what they left behind and they left such legacies.”

And it’s a story like Brian’s that brings their legacies to life.

Copyright 2022 WCJB. All rights reserved. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.