Born out of the Civil War, Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to the United States of America.
Many in America confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day or think of it as a 3 day holiday weekend. It is not a time to say “Happy Memorial Day”, rather it is a time of solemn remembrance of those who died in service to the country.
The City of Radford hosts a Memorial Day Service each year, and I am proud to serve on the organizing committee. The program includes short speeches from local dignitaries, music from the High School band and choir, and participation by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Vietnam Veterans. Hundreds of people attend the service each year, and this year was our 19th annual service.
I wasn’t able to take many photos but thankfully we had great print and TV media coverage. The program ends with a 21 gun salute, a bagpiper plays Amazing Grace, and a trumpeter plays Taps. For a small town program run entirely by volunteers, it really is quite powerful.
Please follow this link to read a bit about this year’s program. Mike Gangloff describes the day much better than I. He quotes one of our speakers as saying that Memorial Day isn’t “about sales and cookouts and the opening of swimming pools, but the sacrifice of soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen. They gave us all their tomorrows so we could enjoy ours.”
I feel so honored to work with these veterans each year, and even convinced them to take a group “selfie” with me.
Oh my gosh, love the selfie with you & the veterans. Thank you so all of the men & women who have served.
Isn’t that such a fun photo?
I really love these guys. They are so seriously devoted to the program, but I love that we laugh and enjoy working together.
Laurie, I admire your selfless dedication to the community and for being part of such a memorable event. Thanks to the veterans in your selfie and throughout the nation and blessings to the families of those who have lost their lives while serving their country.
I’ve often said that of all the committees that I serve on, this one is the most meaningful.
OUTSTANDING!!! You and your volunteers have honored not only the veterans, but your town. So few still have parades or a major service these days, which shows how little their children will grow up knowing about their country.
Thank you for making certain I see this – I know I used to follow you, but I can see the little ‘Follow’ button is no longer green – I’ll have to correct that glitch!!
You are so committed to remembering the stories and sacrifices of those who served the country, so I cannot tell you how glad I am that you appreciated this post.
Nothing thrills me more than to know people are thinking of them!!
Great shot! Great tribute to those who served so valiantly
Thank you, Jim. It is an honor to be a part of this program each year
This sounds like a wonderful way to honor the day and the people for whom we have the day–any time bagpipes play Amazing Grace, I get the chills.
Our bagpiper is only in his 20s and is so dedicated to his craft. The program wouldn’t be the same without him.
I love to hear about these commemorations in small and medium sized towns. They seem so personal–you know the people who served and you know the people who come out and it provides community in a way many people think is gone. Glad it’s still here, though and that these ceremonies happen.
Our program is the largest in the New River Valley, and that is partly because so few communities remember the meaning behind the day. I feel so honored to be a part of this commemoration.
It sounds beautiful and emotional. But best, of course, are the veterans you stand with. 🙂
I echo what Lisa says. We don’t see this in the same way in larger communities. Thank you for taking part and making it meaningful, especially for the vets. I also agree that the selfie wins hands down as my favorite photo of the day. 🙂