HOUSTON (FOX 26) - For Jim Moriarty and his family, every passing day without their son, Jimmy, is one they can't forget. In November of 2016, a then 27-year-old Jimmy was killed while serving with the US Army's 5th Special Forces group in Jordan.
“You see Memorial Day sales, you see Memorial Day celebrations, you see people say Happy Memorial Day and Happy Memorial Day is not a greeting that you want to share with someone who's lost a son or daughter,” Moriarty said.
“Memorial Day is just another day that my son will never be here. He'll never get married. He'll never have children. He'll never be there when I grow old,” Moriarty continued.
To remind himself of his precious son's memory, Jim often replays this birthday message from Jimbo, which was sent to him less than two months before his death.
Jim, a Vietnam War veteran, says Memorial Day is about honoring the legacies of fallen soldiers like his son.
“My son died heroically. He died saving the life of his friend. He's been awarded a medal for valor in combat,” Moriarty said.
Jim said some of the best feelings of support him and his family have received are from total strangers who've left flowers at his son's grave at Arlington National Cemetery. But beyond the words and kind gestures, Jim encourages people to educate themselves, and understand why.
“When people do that and they think that because they've said thank you for your service, that's all they need to do. They adopt trite phrases like 'They're all heroes.' and 'They're all fighting for our freedom,' but they don't ever ask the question, how is our freedom tied up in Syria or Afghanistan or Iraq,” Moriarty said.
“For gold star families, every day is a Memorial Day because there's never a moment in the day when we don't remember our loss and we feel it,” Moriarty said.