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Palm Beach Gardens Army veteran reflects on Memorial Day on the lives lost

Posted at 8:15 PM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 20:15:23-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Steve Dukkony, 87, gets teary eyed every Memorial Day.

"He gave me a knife, a jungle knife. It was in a scabbard," said Dukkony.

An Army sergeant gave him the gift almost half a century ago.

"And I carry that to this day because he had written in ballpoint pen on the back of it to a fine officer," said Dukkony,

Dukkony, a retired Army colonel who served during the Vietnam War, says he will never forget his friend's sacrifice.

"Well, I choke up when I think of it. He was killed the next day. So, his death particularly is meaningful to me," said Dukkony.

He isn't alone in remembering the lives lost.

His Palm Beach Gardens retirement community, La Posada, hosted a Memorial Day program. Rick Minichino is the wellness director there.

"Memorial Day weekend has become a three-day weekend, and it's become about shopping, or having days off or a picnic or a barbecue. The real meaning of Memorial Day is to remember the now 1.1 million service men and women who have lost their lives. Having something like that as a time to reflect, a time to remember and a time to really give respect," said Minichino.

Dukkony said, "It's not asking too much for people to stop and say thank you."