On Saturday morning, under bright skies and comfortable temperatures, Chesapeake Beach opened the three day Memorial Day weekend with the Stars and Stripes Festival at Veterans’ Memorial Park, honoring our fallen heroes.
The United States Naval Academy Band Brass Quintet played patriotic music while the crowd assembled. At a few minutes past 10 am, Mayor Bruce Wahl took the podium and announced the Posting of the Colors by the Huntingtown High School Junior Naval ROTC Color Guard, followed by the audience singing the National Anthem, accompanied by the Brass Quintet.
Reverend Glenn Swanson, Pastor of Bayside Baptist Church, gave the invocation. Mayor gave opening remarks and introduced the VIP’s in the audience, Secretary of Veterans Affairs George Owings III, Assistant to Senator Barbara Mikulski Rachel R Jones, Senator Mike Miller, Delegate Mark Fisher, Mayor Mark Frazer, Calvert County Commissioner Pat Nutter, Register of Wills Margaret Phipps and Sheriff Mike Evans.
This year’s theme was focused on the Korean War, in which almost 36,000 veterans paid the ultimate sacrifice. It was very fitting to have Colonel William E Weber, Retired, as the guest speaker. He fought in Korea, was wounded, lost an arm and a leg, and now is the Chairman of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Fund. He spoke on “The Forgotten War”.
Continuing with the theme, Yumi Hogan, First Lady of Maryland, was the Key Note Speaker. George Owings III introduced the First Lady of Maryland. Mrs. Hogan was born on a chicken farm outside Seoul, South Korea, the youngest of eight children. She moved to Maryland twenty years ago. She remembers her family talking about the war and how grateful they were for the military coming to save the people of South Korea. Mrs. Hogan has loaned the Chesapeake Town Hall some of her artwork, primarily abstract landscapes in Sumi ink on Korean Hanji paper. The exhibit which is in the atrium.
Mrs. Hogan presented Mayor Wahl a proclamation on behalf of Governor Larry Hogan and Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford.
The ceremony was closed by the playing of TAPS, a medley of service hymns where each branch of service was recognized, and a benediction by Pastor Swanson.
Margit Miller / Calvert