ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Maryland - Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
The spirit of Memorial Day was present during a tribute ceremony held at Aberdeen Proving Ground North Cemetery on May 30.
Soldiers, civilians, retirees and family members within the APG community gathered to pay homage to those service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Col. John P. Kunstbeck, the chief of staff for 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Command, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker and spoke to the nearly 100 people who were in attendance.
“On Memorial Day we honor the hundreds of thousands of American service members who have given their lives for freedom since our nation’s founding,” said Kunstbeck. “This is always a beautiful time of year here in Maryland, but at the same time, it is a very solemn day.”
Representatives from Boy Scouts of America, Troop 564, in Bel Air, Maryland; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5337 out of Abingdon, Maryland; and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Chapter MD 40-2 were also in attendance to help lay ceremonial wreaths.
The customary 21-gun salute was rendered during the ceremony by the 20th CRBNE Command Honor Guard.
Kunstbeck acknowledged that honoring fallen service members one day a year is not enough, as the family members of fallen service members feel the loss of their loved ones every day.
“It is hard if not impossible to adequately honor those who have given their lives for freedom,” said Kunstbeck. “The best way we can honor them is by continuing to defend the freedom they gave their lives for.”