Memorial Day is a time for reflection and respect

| May 30, 2014 | 0 Comments
Children quietly read the headstones found in the post cemetery. Graves are traditionally adorned with flags for special occasions.

Children quietly read the headstones found in the post cemetery. Graves are traditionally adorned with flags for special occasions.

Jack Wiers
Photos by Stefanie Gardin

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Reminders of America’s history of sacrifice were voiced and demonstrated in formal Memorial Day ceremonies at both Schofield Barracks and throughout the nation, Monday.

Across the country, in various locations, and in a variety of ways, the sacrifices of past heroes were both remembered.

Tributes were voiced in both formal ceremonies and with private moments.

At the Post Cemetery, here, visitors began arriving in the day’s early hours to offer respect to individuals who have fallen — for veterans, family members, friends and retirees whose remains are buried at the near century old site. The gravesites bore fresh lei and miniature American flags.

A steady stream continued throughout the morning to individual gravesites.

Col. Richard A. Fromm, commander, USAG-HI, commemorates the fallen during the Memorial Day ceremony at Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery, Monday. More than 100 people attended an intimate Memorial Day Remembrance ceremony at the post cemetery, here, May 26, 2014.

Col. Richard A. Fromm, commander, USAG-HI, commemorates the fallen during the Memorial Day ceremony at Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery, Monday. More than 100 people attended an intimate Memorial Day Remembrance ceremony at the post cemetery, here, May 26, 2014.

Later in the morning, at the formal Memorial Day ceremony, Col. Richard A. Fromm, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, stressed the need to salute and honor all members of the armed forces throughout history, “to express our profound gratitude for the brave patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.”

Fromm also spoke of the thousands of innocent men, women and children who died almost 13 years ago, in September. They died simply because they were Americans.

Quoting President Abraham Lincoln, Fromm said, “Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.”

Before ending his remarks, Fromm offered a reminder.

“First, let us visit the gravesites of the fallen and give thanks, and second, let us reach out and shake the hand of a living hero, whether it’s someone in uniform waiting in line in the grocery checkout line. Tell them you honor their service. Tell them simply, ‘thanks.’”

The remembrance ceremony continued with Army veterans from the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Disabled Veterans of America, representatives from two Veterans of Foreign War posts, and Command Sgt. Maj. Philip J. Brunwald, senior enlisted leader, USAG-HI, saluting the fallen. They laid wreaths at the foot of the National Ensign, flying at half-mast.

A rifle detail of seven delivered a three-volley salute, followed by the flat being raised from half-mast to the top of the flagpole.

The ceremony concluded with a single bugler playing taps.

“I will continue to come until I can’t,” said one veteran, who along with 120 others viewed the ceremony, adding, “This means something significant and lasting.”

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Category: News, Observances

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