Citizens & elected officials gather to remember the country's war dead.
Frederick residents gathered on Monday to remember the nation's war dead.
The ceremony to observe Memorial Day took place at the FSK Post 11 of the American Legion on Taney Avenue. Part of the service included a wreath laying by Bentz Hall, a veteran of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944 (D-Day). He'll turn 100 years old in July, according to Master of Ceremonies Tommy Grunwell.
The featured speaker was James Burger, the Coordinator of the VA Outpatient Clinic at Fort Detrick. He reminded those in attendance that more than 1.2-million American men and women gave their lives for their country. "Who knows what these men and women could have attained? We will never know what was lost. But without a doubt, many were destined to have a major impact on our lives in society. Their skills, knowledge, ideas and the uniqueness of their individuality were forever lost to us," he said.
But he also reminded a lot of Americans the true meaning of Memorial Day. "Today is not about celebrating the beginning of the summer season or a holiday from work. Today is a solemn day of remembrance, a day that should be properly set aside for contemplation. Ask yourself: where you would be without the personal sacrifices made by these men and women," he says.
Burger also pointed out that the number of women in uniform has increased, and with that, the number of women veterans. "With women making 17% of those serving, they are in harm's way. With recent Department of Defense regulations, even more will enter the fray as front line troops. Now is the time for the nation to serve and honor them equally," he says.
The VA Outpatient Clinic provides services for veterans, he says. Since it opened in July, 2011, Burger says the clinic has offered well women services, a pharmacy, a lab and podiatry. He says the clinic will expand this year to offer radiology, dermatology and audiology services.
As part of the Memorial Day observance, the FSK Post 11 Legion Riders fired a three-shot volley to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The Frederick High School Cadet Band and Alumni played Echo Taps. The Frederick Police Department and the Sheriff's Office helped raise the colors, and the Harmony Cornet Band played patriotic music.