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May 31 2017

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MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY HELD AT QNC

DISTRICT 10 in Lead Role

 

May 29, 2017, Quantico National Cemetery (QNC), VA. A Memorial Day Ceremony was held with an estimated 1,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines, along with many families and distinguished guests who came to remember those who have fallen, fighting for our nation,… the ones who gave all, and those who are still unaccounted for.

Four-Star Admiral John Harvey, USN Ret, said, “We must remember our Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines, who sacrificed and gave their lives for us to be free.” John Harvey is the Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs for the Commonwealth.  In his remarks, Secretary Harvey described the history of this special day going back to General Logan’s General Order #11 of May 5, 1868, which states, “The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land… It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.”  This day was then named “Decoration Day,” and, in later times, it became known as “Memorial Day” and celebrated the last Monday in May. 

 

The Chairman of Potomac Region Veterans Council (PRVC), CHUCK WILSON was the Master of Ceremonies whose opening remarks set the stage for this solemn ceremony. Wilson is a retired Air Force Colonel who is the Commander Virginia VFW District 10 that includes five counties in Northern Virginia. He was also the past Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7916 in Occoquan.  

 

Colonel Joseph Murray, Commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico, gave welcoming remarks. 

PRVC Vice Chairman Randal Coker announced The Avenue of Honors,” that honors veterans who have been called from our midst and donated by family members of those fallen.”  VC Coker is also the Senior Vice CDR of District 10 and former Commander of Post 1503 Dale City. 

Colonel Frank Harris, USMC (Ret) provided “A Toast to the Flag.”

The “21-Gun Salute” was provided by the Marine Corps Rifle Team.

 

US Marine Corps Band played The National Anthem, the Medley of Service Hymns, and patriotic music throughout the ceremony.

A USMC Bugler plays “Taps.”

 

Boy Scout Troop 1369, one of four Scout organizations chartered by VFW Post 7916, assisted in setting up over 1,000 chairs for this Memorial Day ceremony.

Quantico National Cemetery has hosted this event since 1983. The US Marine Corps Base at Quantico has supported this event since its beginning at Quantico National Cemetery in 1983.  This year, the wet weather left water soaked fields and the ceremony had to be moved to a smaller, but dry, location.

Both Memorial Day and Veterans Day Ceremonies are is sponsored by the Potomac Region Veterans Council (PRVC) that represents 26 Veteran Service Organizations and an estimated 15,000 veterans in Northern Virginia.  Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7916 is a charter member.

Pictures taken by VFW Life Member Mary Ellen Radloff

 

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/1307/