DALLAS — In the middle of a quiet Sunday at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, you could hear the steady beat of Barbara Critchlow’s oxygen tank.
She uses it, plus her walker and her family, to come and honor the love of her life.
"We have had some good times," she said, speaking about Richard, her husband of 56 years.
During those early years, Richard Critchlow served in Korea with the U.S. Marine Corps. He returned to Barbara with quite a story.
"He carried his buddy for two or three days — frozen. He was dead. He carried him back to the base. So it’s a wonder they weren’t both dead," she said.
That act earned Staff Sgt. Richard Critchlow a Purple Heart. He died in 2008.
"We're very proud of him," his wife said.
Each gravestone represents a life's worth of memories, and the feelings they evoke are even stronger on weekends like this.
Elizabeth Smith comes out for her Vietnam vet.
"It’s not an easy life," she said. "They would be spit on at the airport, and things thrown at them. My husband was spit on."
She now makes sure he gets the respect he deserves with flowers in red white and blue.
"He was so proud of what he did for his country. I don’t want his gravestone to be empty on those important days," she said.
Tom Towry is here to thank his wife Jo Ann for all she did while he served in the Air Force.
"Whether she’s watching and looking down on me or checking on me or not, I feel that probably she gets a little jolt that I care enough to come out here," he said.
Towry said Memorial Day means more to the living then the dead.
You can see it in the hugs, decorations, and thousands of flags. They are signs of deep gratitude that don’t end with death.
Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, at 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway in Dallas, is open daily from sunrise until sunset.