MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — As Fran and Lance Wilson scan the bricks lining the walkway in Memorial Park in Stuart, the Memorial Day parade begins.
But the Wilson’s are not looking out on the street, they are looking down for their son’s name.
Lance Cpl. Justin Wilson was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2010, two months before he was to return home.
Fran Wilson says her son is always with her but more so on other days.
“More so on the events that really hit you, his birthday, his death, Memorial Day,” said Fran Wilson.
At the funeral service for Lance Cpl. Wilson nine years ago, hundreds came out to pay tribute.
His wife, Hannah, laid a flower on the casket. They had been married just before his deployment.
In Palm City, a park was renamed in Justin’s honor.
“You go to the monument in Palm City and you still see trinkets that people leave there. Some leave notes. It’s soothing to know that even after nine years, it’s not forgotten," said Fran Wilson.
The family went to Arlington National Cemetery on a few occasions, but prefers to be away from the crowds.
“We go to Wreaths Across America every year. We do that. We enjoy that because he enjoyed Christmas," said Lance Wilson, Justin's father.
The Marine Corps League’s local detachment is also named in honor of Lance Cpl. Wilson, who will be forever 24 years old.
“It’s not just a day for barbecues. It’s a day to reflect and pay respect and remember and then barbecue and celebrate their life," said Fran Wilson.