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Veterans honored at Memorial Day services

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Memorial Day services were held at Guam Veteran Cemetery May 28 to honor and pay respect to those who have fallen in the name of freedom.

The national holiday honors the fallen and pays tribute to parents, spouses, children and siblings who have laid a loved one to rest.

President John F. Kennedy said, " Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

The ceremony was comprised of a B-52 fly-over, a speech from the 36th Wing commander Brig. Gen. John Doucette and a traditional wreath-laying ceremony in remembrance of our nation's heroes.

"Our country was built on the sacrifices of valiant heroes who believed in the cause of freedom," said General Doucette. "We attempt to pay tribute to our fallen heroes today, though we know that words alone are not enough."

The service, attended by servicemembers and civilians alike, has become tradition for Joe Fernandez whose son, Army Sgt. Christopher Fernandez, passed away in the line of duty in 2007. Mr. Fernandez attended the memorial service with his daughter Carmela and John.

"The memorial service helps us to pay our respects to Christopher," said Mr. Fernandez. "We've been coming every year since his passing."

Memorial Day recognizes American heroes from all walks of life, brave souls who joined the Armed Forces, where they took up arms with new brothers and sisters to protect their families and their nation's freedom.

"One thing we can do is remember these heroes as you remember them," said President Barack Obama. "Not just as a rank, or a number, or a name on a headstone, but as Americans, often far too young, who were guided by a deep and abiding love for their families, for each other and for this country."