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Memorial Day "a day of holy remembrance"

Posted: May 28, 2013 - 4:37pm  |  Updated: May 28, 2013 - 9:41pm
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Ollie Tolbert, vice president of the American Legion Auxiliary Jesse C. Lynch Memorial Unit 71, places a wreath during the wreath-laying portion of the Memorial Day ceremony.  (Nikasha Dicks/STAFF)
Ollie Tolbert, vice president of the American Legion Auxiliary Jesse C. Lynch Memorial Unit 71, places a wreath during the wreath-laying portion of the Memorial Day ceremony. (Nikasha Dicks/STAFF)

 


The Jesse C. Lynch Memorial American Legion Post 71 held its annual Memorial Day ceremony Monday at Wade Hampton Park.


Around 250 people gathered at the park on Georgia Avenue to pay tribute to the men and women who have died to protect our freedoms and to honor all members of the military past, present and future.


Post 71 Commander Jerry Morin gave a brief history of Memorial Day. Citing its beginnings as shortly after the Civil War, Morin said that originally the day was known as Decoration Day, signifying the placing of flags and flowers on graves of fallen soldiers. It was celebrated on May 30, a day when there were no battles.


“It is a day to remember the promise of President Abraham Lincoln,” said Morin. “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his children…Today, we shall turn our attention to their sacrifices.”


He also called attention to “The Empty Chair,” a POW/MIA remembrance.


The Rev. David O. Thompson, rector at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church was the keynote speaker for the ceremony. He challenged those present “as United States citizens” to be the Paul Reveres of today—to share the message in order to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice on the battle field.


He spoke of his grandfather who lost an arm in the war and of his grandmother who directed the conversation so as to never speak of the war for the benefit of his grandfather who suffered post traumatic stress syndrome.


“There is no sacrifice greater than the one where one lays down his life for others,” Thompson said. “The blood of those people made lands sacred. Brothers, sisters, fathers mothers went to war with fear and courage because they wanted to bring liberty and peace.”


He continued, “Their gravemarkers represent ones who at one time had a name and dreams, ambitions and a family. They left and went to war, alone but together. Names will be forgotten, but sacrifices must never be forgotten. I want this day to be recognized as not just a day for picnics—but a day of holy remembrance.”

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