BEAUFORT, S.C. -- “Memorial Day is a time for Americans to remember and honor the ultimate sacrifices made by past and present generations of U.S. service members,” said President Barack Obama in his Memorial Day Proclamation, May 23.
Hundreds lined the streets of Beaufort to honor the sacrifices made by U.S. veterans during the Beaufort Memorial Day Parade, May 26. After the parade, a Memorial Day Ceremony was held at the Beaufort National Cemetery opening with an invocation by Navy Cmdr. William Holiman, the Marine Corps Air Station chaplain.
Beaufort native Army Brig. Gen. Kaffia Jones, the commanding general of the 335th Signal Command in East Point, Ga., and Col. Daniel Haas, the commanding officer of the Recruit Training Regiment at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, spoke during the event. In attendance from the Air Station were Col. Peter Buck, the Air Station commanding officer, and Sgt. Maj. KeCia Jordan, the Air Station sergeant major.
"Those lost in war were not lost just to a family and to friends, but to a nation,” Haas said. “Your presence today shows you have not forgotten the reason for this very somber day. Thank you for taking action to preserve their memory this day."
From the Revolutionary War to the present, generations of Americans have been willing to take up arms and die, if necessary, in order to preserve the nation's freedoms, Haas said.
"We are here today because we respect the memory of those who committed to being something larger than themselves," Jones said. "We not only remember those who gave their lives in defense of honor and liberty, but we also honor those still serving."