A crowd gathered for a Memorial Day ceremony at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central on May 30, 2022.
The ceremony opened with the National Anthem played by the 100th Army Band (USAR) and a prayer by Maj. Patrick Kihiu, chaplain.
Then followed a POW/MIA Table ceremony performed by the Human Resources Command (HRC) Honor Guard.
Maj. Gen. Johnny K. Davis, commanding general of United States Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, gave a speech honoring fallen Soldiers.
“As a Soldier, today means a lot,” Davis said. “It means a great deal to speak at an event that honors the great Americans who gave their lives in defense of our nation.”
Davis gave a history of Memorial Day, which began after the Civil War and was originally called Decoration Day. Families remembered their loved ones by decorating gravesites with flowers or flags, which is a tradition still seen today.
“Memorial Day is a day of national awareness and solemn reverence; a day for us to honor the military men and women who gave their lives,” Davis said. “Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to stop and think about the brave Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Davis expressed appreciation to Gold Star families, families who lost loved ones in combat.
“We are humbled by your sacrifice, inspired by your resilience, and grateful for your continued service to your communities,” Davis said.
Davis also commemorated the Vietnam War and those who fought in it, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the war. Davis spoke about two men, who had a profound impact in his life and their service in the Vietnam War.
The Ceremony also included a Flag Folding by the Honor Guard, a 21 gun salute, a wreath laying, and the playing of Taps and an Armed Forces Medley by the 100th Army Band. The ceremony closed with a benediction by Kihiu.
Many retired and current military attended the ceremony.
Christopher Love from Radcliff, Kentucky served in the Army from 1974 to 1994. He served in the Military Police Corps, and he said the importance of Memorial Day is to remember all the fallen brothers and sisters, who never made it home.
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Kershaw said Memorial Day has personal significance to him as he has lost some friends along the way due to direct combat and combat related illnesses and injuries.
“The significance of Memorial Day is paying tribute to those that have lost their lives in combat and served our country for the freedoms that we have today,” Kershaw said.
Davis concluded his speech with a call to action to honor fallen soldiers.
“We can honor them by participating in the National Moment of Remembrance, a call to voluntarily and informally pause at 3:00 p.m. local time today to reflect upon and remember those who died in service to our nation,” Davis said.