Gathering on the courthouse Veterans Green in Prince Frederick, on May27, 2019, a crowd of veterans, family, friends and those wanting to pay respect, listened and watched as the ceremony unfolded.
Posting of the Colors were Calvert, Huntingtown, Northern, Patuxent NJROTC and the Civil Air Patrol and An invocation by Robert E King of American Legion Post 220 and County Commander Jay Bolles led the singing of the National Anthem. The placement of the POW/MIA Flag on the chair in front of the podium led to Commander Eric Walls of Post 274 leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Master of Ceremonies, Jay Bolles, Past Commander of Arick L Lore Post 274 and American Legion County Commander, welcomed everyone and introduced the VIP’s in the audience. Calvert County Commander Jay Bolles told those in attendance that on Memorial Day “we celebrate a lot of things like BBQ’s, beaches, swimming pools, family and friends. And many times you lose the true meaning. Those of you who joined us here today already know the true meaning or you wouldn’t be here. He asked everyone to enjoy the rest of their holiday activities and to please share the message with their children, families and friends what Memorial Day is really about”.
Mollie King, Regent, Daughter of the American Revolution, John Hanson Chapter, spoke on their behalf. Each of the NJROTC Units and the Civil Air Patrol had a member speak on “What Memorial Day Means To Me”. And each student’s speech was from the heart. Following their speeches, each NJROTC Unit along with a veteran placed a wreath at each of the monuments. The Honor Guard from Posts 85,206, 220 and 274 fired three rifle volleys, and a bugler from Civil Air Patrol played TAPS. It was followed by 30 seconds of silent prayer.
Guest Speaker was introduced by County Commander Bolles. Tony O’Donnell, a member of Post 274, a member of the Sons of the Legion, a U S Navy Veteran, former Calvert Cliffs Employee, former Maryland Delegate and now a Public Service Commission member, reminded the audience that it was okay to celebrate Memorial Day with parties, picnics and parades, as long as everyone pauses to remember those who gave their lives in defense of their country. It’s a time of Americanism, a time to come together with family and it’s a time to remind ourselves why we sacrificed, for what we sacrificed. He also reminded those present that we fought the cold war for over 50 years. And it was against the ultimate evils of totalitarianism, communism, and socialism. In the Cold War, many brave Americans gave their lives fighting many of these isms so that the one ism that preserves our way of life would prevail and continue to guide our republic to the ongoing freedom and a government of the people, by the people and for the people, That one redeeming ism is Americanism.”
County Commander Jay Bolles led the audience in America the Beautiful, followed by the Benediction, given by Robert E King. Everyone was invited to attend the open houses at American Legion Post 206 and 274 immediately following the conclusion of the service.
Please enjoy the picture gallery below.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon