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Veterans Home Holds Solemn Memorial Day Ceremony
Charlotte Hall, MD - 5/31/2012
By Dick Myers
While the Memorial Day holiday was on Monday (it’s always the fourth Monday of May), the official Memorial Day as designated by Congress is May 30. Charlotte Hall Veterans Home (CHVH) always has their remembrance on that day. The event Wednesday featured the solemn recitation of the names of the 89 residents of Maryland’s only veteran’s home who passed away during the last year.
Guest speaker for the event was U.S. Air Force Col. Samuel “Bo” Mahaney, commander of the 459th Air Refueling Wing at Andrews Air Force Base. The unit contains 1,200 reservists from all over the region. Col. Mahaney noted that at any given time at least 10 percent of the unit’s members are deployed in harm’s way. .He said, “At any time I could get a call that someone around the world is hurt or worse.”
Col. Mahaney pointed out the cooperative nature of the various armed forces. He noted that the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard participated in the event and that the 100th anniversary of Marine Corps aviation was recently celebrated at Andrews, an Air Force Base. “We are making sure we challenge our country’s problems as a joint force," he said.
During the event proclamations or letters were read on behalf of the governor (by Director of the Maryland Veteran’s Home Program, Sharon Mattia), the Charles County Commissioners (by Commissioner Reuben Collins) and from U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (by her Special Assistant Sarah Leming). Col. Mahaney said it was good that representatives of the politicians were there because the civilian control of the military is the cornerstone of the checks and balances system.
Col. Mahaney noted that 6,400 Americans have been killed in the line of duty in the recent wars on terrorism. “Every Memorial Day we struggle to understand the meaning of such sacrifice and loss,” he said, adding, “All we can do is remember them tempered with the reminder that they died for a noble cause.”
“On Memorial Day we honor those who left us too soon,” Col Mahaney said. “On behalf of a grateful nation we salute them and pledge we will never forget.”
Master of Ceremonies for the Memorial Day event was CHVH Administrator Greg Osborne. The names of the deceased residents were read by CHVH Director of Resident Services Maura Pieper and Director of Social Service’s Nina Mouldern. Lunch was served to attendees after the event.
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