WIESBADEN, Germany -- A color guard from the 2nd Signal Brigade helped remember the past and honor the fallen during a Memorial Day ceremony May 24, 2015 at the Normandy American Cemetery in France.

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial overlooks Omaha Beach on the same site as the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery established after D-Day by the U.S. First Army June 8, 1944. The cemetery contains 9,387 American graves and memorializes 1,557 names of those missing in action.

"This is the time for us to pause and remember our fallen," Rene Huard, a member of the American Overseas Memorial Day Association, said of the Memorial Day ceremony.

The 2nd Signal Brigade color guard marched in, presented the U.S. and French colors, and remained a highly visible symbol throughout the ceremony.

Staff Sgt. Benjamin Vickers, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the color guard, said being part of the ceremony was very rewarding.

"It felt really good to represent the Army at the ceremony and to work with the French and other services," Vickers said.

Vickers said he also enjoyed interacting with some of the World War II veterans in attendance.

The Memorial Day ceremony is conducted on the last Sunday of May in France instead of Monday so more people, American and French, can attend and pay their respect to the fallen.

Daniel Neese, superintendent of the Normandy American Cemetery, said it was important to hold the annual Memorial Day ceremony.

"It is a day we honor our dead, our heroes that lay here for eternity," Neese said.


5th Signal Command's mission is to build, operate and defend network capabilities to enable mission command and create tactical, operational, and strategic flexibility for Army, Joint and Multinational forces in the EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility.