As a company whose founders and associates have a rich history of military service, Lowe’s made sure Memorial Day was about remembering loved ones who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and sacrificed their lives.
This year in partnership with AMVETS, Joe McFarland, Lowe’s executive vice president of stores and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, along with other Lowe’s associates attended the 151st Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery.
McFarland continues to be an advocate for finding ways to recognize and honor military associates and customers.
Associate Paul Karrmazin is also one of those advocates. At Store 1658 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, Karrmazin has helped set up the Missing Man Table for each of the last five years.
“It’s so important because I was one of the more fortunate ones that made it through,” Karrmazin said. “I lost a lot of friends…lost a lot of buddies.”
Now a seasonal associate, Karrmazin flew helicopters for the Navy from 1964-1972. He says when people first see the table, sometimes they’re not aware of the meaning. But once it’s realized, they’re always touched.
“When they do see it, they are very awestruck, and it sets them back on their heels.”
In Saint Robert, Missouri, Store 2769 is located just four miles from Fort Leonard Wood, a U.S. Army training installation. Store Manager Zach Stutts estimates that more than 100 of the 130 associates at his location have either served in the military, are currently serving or have family members who have served.
This table at the entry way of Stutts’ store offers family members of loved ones who did not make it home, an opportunity to write their names on a star and place them around the soldiers’ boots in remembrance.
Stutts understands the meaning of the holiday within his store’s community.
“The reactions we get are very solemn and very respectful in remembrance of what people have done overseas and laid down their lives for this country,” Stutts said.
This weekend at Store 244 in Warren, Ohio, Store Manager Lee Bennett hosted a cookout for any veterans and active duty service members, for customers and associates alike. Among the many in attendance was Henry Burner, a 98-year old World War II veteran (pictured below), who Bennett describes as “one of the most fascinating people I have ever met.”
Nationwide, Lowe’s also reserved and decorated a parking spot in honor of fallen military members on Memorial Day. Scroll through the photo slideshow below to see the patriotic displays and more.