The Novant Health Medical Center located in Matthews held a Memorial Day Ceremony on Thursday, May 24, 2018 to honor our fallen veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
Memorial Day formerly known as Decoration Day, commemorates American service members both men and women who have died in military service to our country. Also, it’s an opportunity to recognize and salute the men and women in uniform who have previously served, and those who are now serving the nation with honor, courage, integrity, and dignity.
This holiday is not an excuse for a three-day weekend. It’s an American holiday with a lot of history with lasting significance. The holiday dates back to the civil war, and tradition says it began in 1864. This is when three women from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania placed flowers on the graves of loved ones who had fallen in the war, including a soldier who died in the Battle of Gettysburg. During the civil war 620,000 soldiers were killed and about 51,000 in Gettysburg alone. There are over 2 million Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation in all our wars combined in the name of freedom.
Also, especially important in today’s environment is to pay tribute to the first responders which include law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians, who all have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
It’s important for Americans to take the necessary time to remember the sacrifices that brought us the freedoms we enjoy today. Here are some ideas on how we can celebrate this important American holiday tradition.
- Send a note of thanks to a veteran you know or just say “thank you for your service.”
- Visit a local cemetery and place flags or flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers.
- Fly the American flag at half-staff until noon.
- If you know someone or a family who has lost a loved one in battle, offer assistance to help around a household project, or some special need.
- Participate or support a parade or ceremony locally in your community.
- Ask for God’s protection over all branches of our military.
- Take time to study and learn why we celebrate this important holiday in our history.
The Sun Valley Navy JROTC Honor Guard, Sun Valley High School Band all performed outstandingly during the ceremony. Moving remarks made by Army veteran Dennis Helms about his experiences in Vietnam and especially Hamburger Hill was riveting.
Special thanks goes to Brigadier General Gary H. Wilfong, (Retired), Lee Myers, Mike Urquhart, Mia Langford, the local American Legion Posts in Indian Trail and Matthews for their service including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) who were all in attendance.
Finally, the opening remarks were made by Roland Bibeau, Air Force Corpsman, President, Novant Health Matthews Medical Center. The closing comments were made by Chris Hutter, Senior Director, Professional and Support Services, Novant Health Mathews Medical Center.