By Lyn Ring
The Memorial Day ceremony at the town memorial and cannon in Colonial Beach once again celebrated our servicemen and women, alive and passed on. The event sponsored by the American legion Post #148 and co-sponsored by VFW Post #10574, VFW Ladies Aux VFW #10574, American Legion Aux. #148, American Legion Post #89 King George, American Legion Aux. #89, and VFW Post #8717 Dahlgren is a highlight of the season and a chance to say thank you for those who sacrificed in so many ways to keep us safe. As Captain Peter Nette said in his address, it is important that we all remember “Freedom is not free, it comes with a cost.” Captain Nette also reminded the crowd that sometimes we forget the bravery and struggles endured by the families of our heroes.
The ceremony, led by Master-of-Ceremonies Tommy Edwards, reminded us all of the pride we should feel as Americans. In our day-to-day little traumas we sometimes forget how lucky we are. The names on the memorial allow us to step back and remember. Whether it is the invocation by Post #148 Chaplain John Daly, the speech by Mayor Mike Ham or the heartfelt patriotic songs sung by the Colonial Beach Baptist Church Choir, we are forced to take stock and realize that we are indeed blessed.
There is a feeling in the air on Memorial Day of a kind of togetherness. We watch as all the organizations place their wreaths. We look over and see the rescue squad and scouts handing out ice water. There are representatives of the Police Department and the Fire Department watching over us. There is a certain nobility as veterans of our past wars step forward. It is the look in the eyes as all our friends and neighbors stand with their heads bowed or their hands over their heart as the color guard presents colors. The Flags wave in the gentle breeze; the river in the background is a brilliant blue gently lapping the shore. Off at a short distance there is the sound of children on the beach playing and laughing. So many in other countries know little of laughter.
Yes, we are blessed but it hasn’t come easy. This day Clyde Hunt picks up his horn and the soulful sound of taps rings out. The sound reaches into the deepest part of us and indeed we remember and silently say, thank you.
All Photos by Lyn Ring