Lynchburg, VA - Memorial Day, we as Americans stand united together to honor our men and women who died serving, protecting and defending our country. The holiday originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Monday morning, Lynchburg's Monument Terrace held its annual Memorial Day Observance.
"The important thing to remember today is that it's not only men, it's women also today," said Martin Reardon Sr., State Adjutant Marine Corps League.
"I want people to remember the supreme sacrifice that they and their families paid," said Veteran Walter Fore.
Never, ever, forget; the theme of this year's Observance.That's what keynote speaker Reverend Sue Knipp spoke to the masses about. About 250 sat attentive, paying respects to the men and women who lost their lives for our freedom.
"Having friends having died on the battlefield and knowing others have since then and still are today," said Reardon.
They also recognized Altavista's Staff Sergeant Gregory Copes who was killed in action in Afghanistan August of last year.
"Our veterans are our biggest source of strength. They commit to all. We don't have anybody that makes a commitment like that. I love them and I hope to God that we do not forget our fallen veterans," said Fore.
The part that hit home for most people was the toll of the bell honoring fallen service members. E.C. Glass' award-winning Air Force JROTC Color guard was also on-hand. And a fun fact for you. Reverend Knipp is the first female keynote speaker ever for this event.