Local woman remembers husband on Memorial Day

May 27, 2013 8:05:23 PM PDT
A Memorial Day service at Oakwood Cemetery was even more emotional for one Wake County woman this year.

Barbara Battista's husband was a World War II veteran, and his headstone is one of the newest ones at the cemetery.

Monday was the first day Barbara, the woman he loved for more than 50 years, was able to see it.

"I'm getting a little choked up here," said Barbara.

It's her first Memorial Day since her husband, Raymond, passed away.  

"It was kind of hard, especially when the bagpipes started up," said Barbara. "It really got to me."

They'd been married more than 50 years. She says he was only 17 when he entered the Navy.

"He bugged his father, 'I want to go to the Navy. I want to go to the Navy,' to war, World War II. So finally his father signed him in, he couldn't take it anymore," said Barbara.

So he served on the battleship USS Tennessee. Once he retired, Raymond made it his mission to come to ceremonies like the one at Oakwood Cemetery every year.

"He never missed a Memorial Day," said Barbara. "He always used to put the flags on the graves too."

Raymond Battista died in February.

Now in memory, he will always be part of the holiday ceremony that he treasured so much in life.

"This year instead of him going to honor the vets on Memorial Day, they came to honor him," said Barbara.

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