Memorial Day 2014 was a bright sunny, yet breezy day along the waterfront in Colonial Beach. Crowds gathered in front of the town’s war memorial, known locally as the gun or cannon, to remember and honor not only the military men and women lost, but also town citizens lost over the past year.
Tommy Edwards, Vice Mayor and a member of the American Legion Post #148, was the dashing Master of Ceremonies in navy jacket and his legion regalia hat. He introduced Boy Scout Troop #258’s color guard who carried not only the United States flag, but also the Virginia flag, Colonial Beach town flag, and their troop flags for the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem.
Town Mayor Mike Ham spoke of the history of Memorial Day, as did Captain Ian Michael Hall, from AEGIS Training and Readiness Center, Dahlgren. Memorial Day began as Decoration Day following the US Civil War.
While several towns claim that they held the first one, the story most often repeated is that the wives, daughters, and mothers of Confederate soldiers were decorating their fallen men’s graves one day in the spring. The women realized that the graves of the Union soldiers would remain undecorated and neglected due to the distance from their original homes.