By CourtesyJune 3, 2014
Story by Staff Sgt. Kevin Frazier
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Each year on the last Monday of May the US dedicates a day to commemorate those who gave their lives in defense of the nation.
The day is Memorial Day, and to pay homage to the nation's fallen heroes, Pierce County Veteran's Advisory Council and Mountain View Crematory held a ceremony at the Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park and Crematory, May 26.
"It is an honor to be here participating in this event to pay respect to the fallen," said Sgt. Victor Sharp, a military police non-commissioned officer with 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division. "I lost some of my friends to combat and I am thankful to be able to have a day in honor of their remembrance."
Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park is a joint memorial crematory, with monuments to Gen. John M.D. Shalikashvili and Master Sgt. Llewellyn M. Chilson in the Garden of Honor, which is the newest section dedicated to veterans.
The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Lt. Col. Kevin D. Bouren of Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 7th Infantry Division.
"I am proud to be a member of our armed forces and to be here today to help pay tribute to the many men and women who sacrificed their lives to help keep our great nation safe," Bouren said.
The ceremony included the presentation of a wreath to the fallen, a duet from Caitlin Baranko and Kai Vik, and a three-volley salute provided by Soldiers from 2-2 Stryker Brigade Honor Guard from JBLM.
The ceremony ended with a release of several white doves to symbolize the spirit of the nation's fallen, to rise and live on forever.
"Thank you for your presence today and may we humble ourselves before Almighty God and thank him for blessing this great nation and for allowing us to come together to show our appreciation to the fallen for their bravery," said Bouren.