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Calvert Salutes War Dead, Veterans
Chesapeake Beach/Prince Frederick, MD - 5/29/2012
By Marty Madden
Memorial Day observances were held at venues in Calvert County Monday, May 28. Wreath laying ceremonies and the playing of Taps blended with the oratory offered by the speakers.
The morning service was held at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Chesapeake Beach. Members of the Nam Knights of America, Old Line Chapter rode into town on motorcycles prior to the start of the ceremony. North Beach Mayor Mark Frazer thanked the Nam Knights, a motorcycle organization comprised of military veterans who also served in law enforcement, for their ride Saturday through the streets of the bayside town.
Colors were posted by the Knights of Columbus Lord Baltimore Assembly and representatives from five branches of the U.S. Armed Services, the North Beach Fire Department, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police, laid wreaths at the appropriate markers.
“Freedom isn’t free and the price is high,” said American Legion Post 206 Commander Jack Custis, who lamented the lost meaning of Memorial Day nationwide.
In Chesapeake Beach, citizens organized a three-day series of events intended to bring patriotism back to the spotlight during the weekend. Mayor Bruce Wahl commended Connie O’Dell, the citizen who organized the Stars and Stripes Festival during the ceremony.
“It’s the beginning of a tradition,” said Wahl.
Dozens of citizens sat in the midday sun at the Calvert County Courthouse in Prince Frederick for the afternoon Memorial Day service.
“Ask 100 people what Memorial Day is to them and you’ll get 100 different answers,” said Calvert High School NJROTC cadet Austin Sutton, who was one of three high school students who addressed the gathering. Sutton indicated his thoughts were with the men and women lost during the nation’s wars and those who serve in the Armed Forces today. “Thank you to the millions of Americans who went before me,” said Sutton. “You will never be forgotten.”
“It [Memorial Day] is not just a day to get out of school,” said Patuxent High School NJROTC cadet Garrett Ursiny. “I want to go to college and join the Navy. I want to follow in the veteran’s footsteps.”
Calvert Civil Air Patrol cadet Kyle Higgins spoke about “the men and women who shed blood. They [servicemen] deserve our respect and gratitude.”
After wreaths were laid at the four war memorials on the courthouse lawn, known as Veteran’s Green, a gun salute was given by members of American Legion Posts 274 and 220 Honor Guard.
The event’s guest speaker, Maryland House of Delegates Minority Leader Anthony J. “Tony” O’Donnell [R-District 29C], thanked the ceremony’s attendees who lost family members in America’s wars. “How much they loved their nation, families and friends,” said O’Donnell.
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com
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