“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.” ~Lee Greenwood.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, American Legion Post 116 honored and remembered the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. They also celebrated those who fought and came home, and to those still serving in the military today.
Charles Alvarez, commander of Post 116, served as the master of ceremonies. Presentation and retirement of the colors was performed by the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office Color Guard.
Tom Clune, chaplain for Post 116, gave the invocation and benediction for the event, while John Giles placed the wreath at the memorial wall. Cpt. Tom Bourne, U.S. Army reservist, member of Post 116 and Louisa County High School teacher, played “Taps.”
Guest speaker for the program was Lt. Col. Vincent J. Ciuccoli, commanding officer of the Marine Corps Air Facility in Quantico.
Ciuccoli thanked veterans who were attendance, and expressed his humbleness for their service and their presence.
“I would venture to guess today, like any other Memorial Day, you won’t find a red-blooded American who would dare say anything that would in any way diminish the roles our fallen heroes have played in securing our collective freedom,” Ciuccoli said. “I am not here this morning to speak for them. I have been asked to come here today to tell you what this day means to me, but I intend to do more than just that. I am here to memorialize our fallen heroes, your brothers and sisters, in a way that pays everlasting homage to their sacrifices.
Ciuccoli spoke of veterans who feel as though there is an emptiness or a feeling of guilt that can only be invoked by those who could place names to faces and faces to names. To those who have sleepless nights after walking among the tombstones of Arlington, or have tears in their eyes as they run their fingers across the names on the Vietnam Wall.
To read the entire story, see the May 29 edition of The Central Virginian.