Veteran sees hope and promise in new generation of Americans - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Veteran sees hope and promise in new generation of Americans

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash. -The speaker at a Memorial Day service questions Americans' gratitude for men and women who've died defending their country.

Joe Lusignan, a Benton County sheriff's deputy and military veteran, says many Americans appreciate Memorial Day only for the camping trips, barbecues, and sales at the mall.

But Lusignan, a school resource officer, says he's optimistic about the new generation of Americans.

"I find true appreciation that in every graduating class there are those willing to don a uniform in defense of our nation's needs, even when there is a distinct possibility that many of them will serve in harm's way."

Lusignan says students at the high school he is assigned to still recite the Pledge of Allegiance, "and each day we say it we dedicate it in honor of a graduate who went on after graduation to serve in the military."

Several young people took part in the service at Riverview Heights Cemetery, including the Columbia River Marines who assisted veterans place wreaths for each branch of the armed forces.