Although the federal holiday has become associated with vacations and an extra day off work, it is important to remember Memorial Day was intended to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. military throughout the country’s history.
With so many soldiers currently deployed around the world — some of them in combat situations — it is especially important to honor veterans and active military members during this year’s Memorial Day, which falls on Monday, May 26.
Just in time for the holiday, a video has surfaced of a currently-deployed U.S. Marine who found out at the last minute that he would be able to return home to North Carolina for his sister’s wedding.
The Marine, Daniel Atwood, surprised his sister at the wedding in Charlotte on May 18. He had initially written his sister Sarah a letter informing her that he would not be able to obtain leave to attend the wedding. The video explains that Sarah had cried the night before the wedding because she was so upset that her brother, who is also her best friend, would not be in attendance.
The video captures Atwood’s arrival to the family’s backyard, where Sarah is standing in her wedding dress. The two immediately share a lengthy, emotional embrace. When Sarah finally asks how her brother was able to attend, he replies, “Just last minute, it worked out.”
After she’s given a few minutes to collect her thoughts, the bride-to-be’s continued astonishment at her brother’s arrival is even more heartwarming.
The video is worth watching throughout the entirety of its nearly-3 minute run time, and it further emphasizes the importance of keeping all members of the U.S. military — past and present — in your thoughts this weekend.