FORT SILL, Oklahoma (June 1, 2021) -- Fort Sill conducted a 21-gun national salute as it commemorated Memorial Day May 31, outside McNair Hall. Despite a heavy rain, dozens of people from the Fort Sill community attended the noon event.
Sgt. 1st Class Landon Holt, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security operations noncommissioned officer, provided the lone narration of the annual observance:
“We commemorate our nation’s most solemn day of remembrance – Memorial Day. We gather here to honor the memory of the servicemen and Servicewomen who gave their lives in defense of our great nation and the American way of life.
“The tradition of honoring the fallen is as old as war itself. Throughout history, nations around the world have often taken pause to pay tribute to their comrades who sacrificed their lives defending their country.
“On May 5, 1868, Maj. Gen. John Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order No. 11 - a proclamation calling for ‘Decoration Day’ to be observed annually and nationwide.
“His words, ever so eloquent, charge us to honor the memory of our departed comrades: ‘Gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds with the choicest flowers of spring time,’ Logan proclaimed.
“As we reflect on this day, remember it has been granted to us by some of the most noble, selfless, and courageous men and women our country has ever produced. From the emblazoned names of the fallen heroes on the cannons displayed here today, to the Tomb of the Unknown, we are forever indebted to their sacrifice.
“The Army leadership extends a sincere sense of gratitude to our Gold Star Families. The strength and fortitude you show on a daily basis provides inspiration for the nation.”
During the ceremony, a flag detail raised then lowered the U.S. flag to half staff. And, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery “Salute Battery” fired its 105mm howitzers. Music was provided by the 77th Army Band, which performed “America the Beautiful,” “Hymn to the Fallen,” and “Mansions of the Lord.”