Fallen Marine honored with new flag and memorial - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Fallen Marine honored with new flag and memorial

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

Family and friends of Staff Sergeant Eric Summers honored his sacrifice by dedicating a flag pole in his memory and other fallen service members. 

Eric was one of four marines killed in an explosion at Camp Pendleton on November 13 of 2013.

It was exactly a year ago when Melodie and Wayne Summers lost their son. Now, they're expressing their pride in him by honoring one of his last requests.

It's a tribute to an American hero, a man who gave everything.

“There are no words to describe who he was or his character,” Darren Summers, Eric's brother, said.

Summers' last wish was to replace the old, plastic flag pole with a strong mast fit for carrying our symbol of freedom.

“That shows unselfish he was as a person, as a Marine. I think all you need to do is look at that flag and that tells you who he was,” Darren said.

Within a year exactly of his death, his family and community honored that wish.

“I hate the fact that it had to happen this way but he would definitely be proud of all the work everybody has done for this and his presence is definitely going to be felt here,” Andrea Summers, Eric's wife, said.

“He'd be so proud of what we accomplished,” Melodie Summers said.

Melodie says the pain of losing her son will always be with her. But, now, the memory of her son will stand forever.

“It meant the world to us, I mean, when I come here and look at it I feel like Eric is with us,” Melodie said.

But, his family says, the memorial is not only for Eric.

“There are so many gold star families out there, they suffer every day also,” Melodie said.

So, the same way Eric shared his bravery in sacrifice for our country, he also shares this flag.

“This is for our country. This is bigger than just a small town. This is huge. This is dedicated to everyone who has every served, anyone who has lost their life, this is for everyone to enjoy and cherish,” Darren said.

In honor of Eric's promise the flag is a strong reminder of a sacrifice we will never forget.

“He told me he had to go try to make a difference and that's what he tried to do,” Wayne said.

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