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      Mother honors fallen soldier this Memorial Day

      Dozens of events planned to honor fallen soldiers and veterans for their service to our country will take place Monday.

      A northern Michigan mother will share a special message at a Memorial Day ceremony in Traverse City.

      Cindy Schwartz Walters was asked to address the crowd gathering to honor and remember fallen soldiers and veterans.

      Schwartz wants to commend the men and women who serve for the sacrifices they and their families have made throughout the years.

      â??At first I was hesitant and then I said no, I will. I'll speak,â?? said Schwartz. â??I don't really think we commend them enough.â??

      It'll be an emotional day as Schwartz honors her son who was killed in action.

      Tech. Sgt. Matthew Schwartz, 34, was killed in an ambush in Afghanistan January 5, 2012.

      Schwartz said Matthew wanted to be in the air force since first grade.

      â??He always said he was going to join the Air Force and he did one day. He surprised us all.â??

      She plans to talk about what makes a soldier and what it takes to raise one.

      â??I think of them all as my sons, as I would wish their parents would think, and I'm sure they do.â??

      Most of all, she wants to let other parents know they are not alone.

      â??I want to stand tall and proud for all the mothers, all the gold star mothers, all of the blue star mothers, all of the women who have children, and stand tall and hopefully speak from my heart how thankful we are for what these men and women have done for us.â??

      Schwartz warns against belittling the holiday. She said she looks at it completely differently now.

      â??It used to be I would think about am I going to have this holiday off? I need to get ready because I've got to get packed. I'm going to go on a small mini vacation. That means nothing anymore as to what it truly is."

      Instead of going on a vacation, Schwartz wants to help veterans and honor what they've done for our country.