DUBLIN, Va. – Hundreds of veterans gathered in Dublin on Memorial Day to honor all service members lost in the line of duty.
“Places like this all over our country and around the world are citizens paused to reflect, remember, and to give thanks to those who when their country called answered, ‘send me,” said Major General Randall Fullhart. He was the speaker during the event.
The pledge of allegiance, a gun salute, roll call of veterans, and service songs began the ceremony.
“It means a lot to me because I was one of the fortunate ones to come back and I’d like to honor the ones unable to get back,” stated Korean War veteran Charles A. Johnson.
Johnson was one of a few Korean War veterans at the annual Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery Memorial Day ceremony. He was drafted into service just like James Toliver.
“I got this letter in the mail that said ‘Greetings, your neighbors and friends have chosen you to serve in the United States military,’” said Toliver, a Vietnam War veteran. “I ran out the back door hollering, ‘Who? Who chose me?’”
The country chose him, and he answered the call.
Wreaths were placed to show respect to those men and women who never returned home, paying the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Some form of Memorial Day recognition has been around since the 1860s, when it was known as ‘Decoration Day.’
“Fast forward to after World War I, it became an occasion for honoring those who died in all America’s wars,” explained Fullhart. He went on to add it’s that gratitude that such people served when our country needed them most.