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Beaufort Memorial Day Parade, Ceremony honors fallen

By Sgt. Dengrier M. Baez | Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort | June 1, 2016

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Active duty service members, veterans, their family members, and the local community attended the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony in Downtown Beaufort May 30.

Memorial Day, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, holds a sacred spot on the calendar. Every year on the last Monday of May, Americans pause to remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Ever since the start of the Revolutionary War, patriots have served to defend America’s and other nation’s freedom. Memorial Day is a day to commemorate their sacrifices. 

 “Memorial Day is set aside as a national day of remembrance to honor those who gave their lives in service to our country, “said Gen. Robert B. Neller, the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps, in an all Marine Corps activities message. “In observance of this solemn day, I ask all Marines to join me in honoring and celebrating those who sacrificed all for our nation, our ideals, and our beloved Corps.”

During the parade, hundreds lined the streets waving American flags and wearing red, white and blue in honor of those who gave up their lives protecting the freedoms of our nation. After the parade, a ceremony was held at the Beaufort National Cemetery commencing with an invocation by Navy Cmdr. William Holiman, the MCAS Beaufort chaplain.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy from Hilton Head Island, S.C., was the keynote speaker and delivered the Memorial Day Address for the ceremony. Col. Peter D. Buck, commanding officer of MCAS Beaufort, and leaders from the Tricommand attended and spoke in the ceremony too. 

 “Thank you for allowing me to share this observance with you today,” said Buck. “Your presence honors our fallen, remembers their sacrifice, acknowledges our responsibility, and demonstrates that you are resolute in your commitment to the ideals that make this nation great.”

The Beaufort community was as big of part of the observation of this holiday paying respects and appreciating the solemn holiday, some having family who paid the ultime price.

“Memorial Day brings many feelings,” said Danielle Morales, a Beaufort resident. “Sorrow for the ones many Americans have lost. I’ve lost family members in the line of duty and it’s never easy to remember. But I am also grateful and thankful to live in a country of freedom, knowing my family goes home safely every night because of heoes that came before us.”
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