Senator John McCain said, “Memorial Day is a time of solemn remembrance where we pause to honor the terrible sacrifice made by those who went off to war only to never return. We remember through ceremony and by celebrating the freedom they fought to defend. We must never forget what they did in our name. They were family and friends to some, heroes to all who lived, fought, and died for the safety and future of a great and good nation.”
The United States Air Force Memorial held a beautiful Memorial Day Wreath-laying Ceremony with distinguished guests and visitors from across the United States of America. On a clear and beautiful day men, women, and children gathered to pay their respect to the men and women of the United States military who gave their lives in defense of a great and good nation.
The beautiful flowers were placed at the base of the great memorial as the bright sunshine illuminated the Pentagon behind the memorial and the graves of members of every branch of the Armed Forces of the United States of America in Arlington Cemetary. The words of President George W. Bush greeted visitors as they entered the memorial, “A soldier can walk the battlefield where he once fought; a marine can walk the beaches he once stormed; but an airman can never visit the patch of sky he raced across on a mission to defend freedom. And so it’s fitting that the men and women of the Air Force have this memorial, a place here on the ground that recognizes their achievements and sacrifices in the skies above.”
The United States Air Force was created as a separate American fighting force in 1947; however, Congress established the Army Air Forces in 1941. Today Master Sergeant Jay Heltzer, Technical Sergeant Paige Wroble, Lieutenant Colonel Michael W. Husfelt, Retired Major General Mark Barrett, Chief Master Sergeant James A. Cody, Retired Chief Master Sergeant Barbara Taylor, and Technical Sergeant Nathan Clark were all listed as members of the official party for the AFA/AFSA Memorial Day Wreath-laying Ceremony.
The program also included the Spirit of ’45 Youth Representative, Ms. Tanisha Stevenson. The beautiful floral arrangements were laid in memory of the men and women of the United States Air Force who gave their lives in defense of freedom. The individual and organizational wreath-layings were made in memory of the brave men and women who sacrificed everything for their nation. Americans gathered at the memorial to remember the dedication and service of their loved ones.
The hosts of the ceremony thanked the following participants for their time and volunteered service :
- The United States Air Force Band
- Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive” participants.
- AFSA Chapter Volunteers
- AFDW 744th Communication Squadron
The Air Force Memorial will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2016. It is one of Washington’s most beautiful symbols and offers an incredible view of Washington. Its three spires are symbolic of America’s reach for the sky in defense of a great nation.
The Air Force Memorial is located at One Air Force Memorial Drive in Arlington, Virginia, 22204. For more information go to: www.airforcememorial.org.
Happy Memorial Day, America.
In memory of the service of C.Vincent Crump, James Metze, Sr., James Metze, Jr., and Alphonso Sissoko.