Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer with backyard barbeques and the opening of swimming pools. However, it is not the original focus of the holiday. It is a day set aside to honor and pay tribute to the military men and women who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today.
I would like to invite all of you to attend the Memorial Day Ceremonies on Monday at Holly Hill Memorial Gardens at 10201 Bird River Road in Middle River at the Lamky Luther Whitehead Veterans Memorial starting at 9 a.m.
This Memorial Day Ceremony is the largest ceremony in Eastern Baltimore County.
Like so many things in our community, this Memorial Day Ceremony was started by a World War II Navy Veteran and my good friend, the late Al Clasing, in 1989 to honor three men from our community who were killed in action during World War II.
By the way, their personal belongings are at The Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River Museum in the veterans room which was also started by Mr. Clasing.
I started attending this Memorial Day Ceremony long before I was a candidate for public office. I guess you can say that I became such a fixture at the Memorial Day Ceremonies that I was asked to become the chaplain of Holly Hill Memorial Gardens. It is a solemn ceremony which captures the true meaning of Memorial Day.
It starts off with a procession of police honor guard, followed by veterans groups, auxiliary groups, community organizations, Boy Scouts, Patriot Riders, etc. from the cemetery office to the Lamky Luther Whitehead Veterans Memorial at the Avenue of Honor.
There is patriotic music, the reading of the deceased veterans from the community from World War I to those who died in Afghanistan and Iraq; the tolling of the bell after each name is read; and the placement of carnations at the monument.
This is followed by the placement of wreaths by veteran and auxiliary organizations, community organizations, and the playing of “Taps.” The ceremony concludes with the reading of Honorably Served Veterans that have recently been added to the Honorably Served Monument.
Before you begin your Memorial Day activities, please bring your lawn chairs and bottled water and attend and participate in the Memorial Day Ceremony at Holly Hill Memorial Gardens. Please come and bring your families to the ceremony to teach your children what Memorial Day is all about.
You will leave there with a good feeling about yourself and have the rest of the day to enjoy the holiday. Have a safe Memorial Day holiday.
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