ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Marine Cpl. Curtis Swenson gave the ultimate sacrifice to his country when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2010. Each year since, his family has held a memorial at Soldiers Field to honor their son and fallen hero.
It is hard to describe the range of emotions Dave and Kay Swenson went through Tuesday morning, both tears of sadness and tears of joy were shed. But all of those tears were in memory of a man this entire city will always remember.
"Quickly, three years can go, but it seems like a lifetime ago," said Kay Swenson, Curtis' mother. "We still miss him, so much every day."
Dave and Kay Swenson, as they have done each year since the passing of their son, gathered at the Wall of Remembrance. They show their love for their son, with an undeterred resolve in the face of tragedy.
"You really have no choice," said Dave Swenson, Curtis' father. "You're either going to crawl in a hole and die or you're going to get out and do something. You wander around for so long and then you have to go out and do something. Fortunately, we've met all these people here who showed us a great way to get rid of all that energy and pain."
It is that resolve that so many people in Rochester admire, and for those going through similar pain and loss, the Swensons have become an uplifting model.
"A gentlemen came up and shook my hands and said 'I've just been thinking of you. My brother was in Helman Province. He's home, he has a child but I think of you often.' So, it means a lot to them," Kay explains. "It helps all veterans to have something like this, to have people remember things like that."
Dave and Kay are doing what they can to keep the memory of their son alive throughout Rochester, and the city is not letting anyone else forget him either.
"Everybody shows up and lets us know and supports us," Dave said. "What a great veteran community we have here in town. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else."
One more year goes by since the passing of their son, and one more year that a city honors a fallen hero.
Dave and Kay Swenson have also been holding several events and fundraisers throughout the year to help out the area veterans and to provide scholarships for students.
It is just one more way that they hope to honor their son's ultimate sacrifice.
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