Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifice of those who have died in military service.
“We stand in the midst of patriots and the family and friends of those who have nobly served,” said Army Col. Stacy A. Holman, the keynote speaker at Elizabethtown’s Memorial Day ceremony held Monday, May 27.
Holman, who is studying at the Army War College in Carlisle, said those who have died in service did so nobly.
“They didn’t go to war because they loved fighting; they were called to be part of something greater than themselves,” Holman said.
She noted that Memorial Day began after the Civil War, which killed far more Americans than any other war.
“It changed America’s view of war forever,” she said.
One early observance was in Mississippi, where graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers were decorated in hopes that the same would be done at cemeteries in the North.
Memorial Day was officially recognized by Congress in 1887.
Holman noted that her husband, who worked in a hospital after returning from war, died about 18 months ago and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. She said progress is being made in treating the psychological wounds of war.
More than 1.1 million people have died throughout history in the nation’s wars, Holman said.
The ceremony began with a welcome from Mayor Chuck Mummert, an invocation from the Rev. Albert J. Domines, the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem of Air Force Master Sgt. Lori McCarthy, a musical selection by the Elizabethtown Area High School marching band, Holman’s speech, then the placing of a wreath by Paul L. Rettew Jr. and Joseph M. Eckman from American Legion Post 329. That was followed by a placing of the poppy cross by Joseph M. Eckman and Kimberly A. Echman of the American
Mummert then read the names of the Elizabethtown servicemen killed at war from World War I to Lebanon as Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts carried flags representing them to the veterans’ memorial.
After playing “Taps,” the event closed with a benediction by Domines and McCarthy singing “God Bless America.”