AP Hill honors the fallen, recognizes those who served during Memorial Day ceremony
May 24, 2013
USAG FORT A.P.HILL, Va. - Fort A.P. Hill honored the fallen and recognized living veterans during a brief ceremony at Medal of Honor Garden here on May 22.
U.S. Army Garrison Fort A.P. Hill commander Lt. Col. Peter E. Dargle said Memorial Day is America's way of honoring those who have given all for their country.
"Rooted in the ancient Greek tradition of honoring their fallen Warriors, Memorial Day is the day we pay our respect to those who, in Abraham Lincoln's words, gave their last full measure of devotion," Dargle said.
"These Warriors we honor today have never sought war for its own sake, but proudly stepped forward when their nation called them to action. Through their devotion and actions we enjoy the many blessings of liberty and freedom we have today. To the men and women of our military that have given their last full measure of devotion we are forever grateful."
Following his remarks, Dargle recognized local resident and former A.P. Hill employee James W. Farmer Sr., a World War II Navy veteran who saw action during the D-Day landings in Normandy, France on June 6, 1944.
"Sir, we are profoundly thankful for your service to our nation and are blessed to count you on the rolls of the Fort A.P. Hill Family," Dargle said.
The featured speaker was A.P. Hill employee Armando Flores, a 20-year Army veteran who served as an infantryman in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received there.
Flores gave a poignant speech that recalled the Soldiers he served with in Vietnam who died during the war. They are memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
"I have a lot of friends on the Wall, I visited them last year and will visit them this year," Flores said. "Without them we wouldn't be here."
Flores said that Memorial Day is a holiday for everyone.
"Remember that when you celebrate on Monday," he said. "And when you see a veteran, shake his hand, thank him for his service and tell him you're very proud of him."
Following his remarks, Flores, Dargle and garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Keith R. Whitcomb placed a wreath in front of the Medal of Honor memorial.
The Caroline Country High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps provided the color guard for the ceremony. The cadets who participated were Shane Beazley, Boen Deffenbaugh, Dakota Johnson and Hunter Brock. U.S. Army Master Sgt. (Ret.) Roland Payne led the color guard.