Memorial Day serves as a time of remembrance | New
The Foreign War Veterans and Daisy Mountain Veterans celebrated their Memorial Day with a moving ceremony in which they reflected on those lost and those still missing.
The Anthem Community Park and Veterans Memorial was surrounded by flags and draped in 77 roses spread over each name of the site’s circle of honor.
As the official ceremony began, one thing became clear. Memorial Day isn’t just about those who served – it’s about those who still serve and risk their lives to protect the freedoms we hold dear.
“This is a day to honor and remember those who gave and still give their lives for our great country and for our freedom,” said Mary Lou Spicer, event chaplain and Navy veteran. “This day is not about me or anyone else. We are alive and must continue to protect the country for which our comrades gave their lives. “
For Spicer, Memorial Day goes beyond a single day and also goes beyond those who died on the battlefield.
“May is our special time to honor the dead and remember those with whom we served, whether they were shot in Korea or suffered a form of cancer that they were forced to breathe. while serving in Vietnam or whether they committed suicide because they were too tired of wrestling with demons, ”Spicer said.
Like Spicer, other veterans see Memorial Day as more than just an extension of a weekend and federal holiday.
“Today we reflect on the more than one million US soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guards who lost their lives defending and protecting our great nation. We hold these veterans, their families, friends and comrades in our hearts, ”said Michael Tapp, Commander of the American Legion and former Chief Warrant Officer of the United States Coast Guard.
Tapp also used the ceremony to highlight the uniqueness of the Anthem Veterans Memorial.
On Remembrance Day 2012, former US President Barack Obama proclaimed May 28, 2012 to November 11, 2025, as the era of commemoration of the Vietnam War in the United States of America. The Anthem Memorial Park is one of the institutions created to participate in this program.
At the memorial, the official flag of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War stands at the base of the site’s pole to commemorate the more than 2 million servicemen deployed in South Vietnam, as well as the more than 58,000 soldiers who died or are missing. during the war.
Tapp also had all veterans present from all wars and operations the nation has engaged in in a round of applause for their sacrifice and bravery while serving in the US military.
“All who stood up were, in their day and in their calling, ready to make hard personal sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary, to protect our nation,” Tapp said.
While Memorial Day can be an emotional day for most veterans, others have conflicting emotions.
“For me, Memorial Day is a bittersweet holiday,” said Jim Oliveri, Vietnam War Army veteran, former Daisy Mountain Veterans Board member and author. “I’m always a little shy when I remember the men I knew who lost their lives defending our country. But, conversely, the great pride that I had to know them is quite edifying.
Although Oliveri lost friends while serving in the U.S. Army, he considers himself lucky that every member of his family who served returned home safe and sound.
“I can’t even begin to imagine the anguish that some may have felt due to the loss of a loved one in combat,” Oliveri said.
“These people come from a very select group. Only 7% of our current population has ever served in the armed forces. Less than half of 1% of our citizens are now part of our active army. “
“Fortunately, the percentage of combat casualties is also relatively low, although heartbreaking in its finality for their families.”
Although the Veterans Memorial was beautifully decorated with flowers and flags, the most notable prop was an empty table set aside to honor the fallen soldiers.
The table was round to display eternal concern and draped in a white sheet to symbolize the purity of soldiers’ motives when responding to the call to serve.
On the fabric is a unique rose to remind those watching the lives of soldiers and family and friends who keep the faith waiting for answers.
There was also a yellow ribbon on the table as a symbol of uncertainty and continued hope that the soldiers will return home.
The table was served with a slice of lemon and a pinch of salt – the lemon slice to remind those watching the battle of bitter fate as they were captured or disappeared in a foreign land, and the salt symbolic of the tears of the missing and fallen.
Illuminating the table was a lighted candle to show hope that missing or imprisoned soldiers will return, and a hardcover book was placed alongside to convey the strength these soldiers gained through devotion.
The glasses were inverted to remind people that these soldiers cannot toast, and the empty chairs symbolized those at their family’s table.
A bell rang 77 times at the end of the ceremony for veterans who did not return home and once more for all others who did not participate in all the wars in which the United States participated.
“May we never forget the sacrifice they made and may their souls rest in peace,” Tapp said.