SIERRA VISTA, Ariz., - This Monday morning at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery and all across Arizona, Memorial Day ceremonies occurred to honor the lives of all Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.
For many Americans, the last Monday in May marks the unofficial start of summer—a long weekend with a family barbecue or gathering of friends. For those who served in the military, Memorial Day holds a greater significance, as it commemorates the brave men and women who lost their lives defending our great nation. At the core of our military lie unique themes: the selfless desire to serve and the willingness to sacrifice to defend our nation.
As a prelude to the ceremony today, civic and veteran’s organizations from Southern Arizona, Fort Huachuca and the greater Sierra Vista area gathered on Saturday May 27th to place American flags at the gravesites of each veteran.
The origin of Memorial Day, first observed over 155 years ago and then known as Decoration Day, was to beautify the graves in memory of those who fought and died to preserve our union during the Civil War. The holiday’s name obviously changed over the years, but its ideals and intention have not.
It’s a day all Americans should take a moment to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Memorial Day is a day for both grief and celebration, reflecting on the tragic loss of life and recounting the courageousness of their service.
Addressing a crowd of more than four hundred attendees Maj. Gen. Christopher L. Eubank, Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)’s commanding general joined City of Sierra Vista Mayor, Clea McCaa as well as other civic leaders to observe this year’s Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, Memorial Day ceremony.
“I am honored to be here today to convey our deepest gratitude for the men and women who have served and sacrificed to keep our nation strong,” Eubank said.
In his remarks Eubank also gave credence to the importance of those servicemembers and Goldstar families, who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
“As you look across these hallowed grounds, each marker you see represents someone who made a choice. They made a choice that few make and stood up to represent this nation and its citizens,” Eubank said.
“Unfortunately, many pay the ultimate price for that choice and are laid to rest to soon. Their loss is felt by their family members every day. Their sacrifice is a loss for us, and each one is one to many,” Eubank said.
In closing, Eubank quoted from the Reverend Doctor Brown in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on May 30, 1868. “We have come to do honor to the noble dead. The noble dead, who fell here and on these neighboring hills, need no eulogium from our lips. They have secured the proudest of all earthly honors, and their tombstones bear the inscription, ‘They died for their country!’ There is no danger that they will be forgotten."