Alabama National Cemetery hosts Memorial Day ceremony

United States Air Force Airmen place flags at tombstones at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo on May 23. (Special to the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

United States Air Force Airmen place flags at tombstones at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo on May 23. (Special to the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTEVALLO – Alabama National Cemetery paid tribute to the nation’s heroes, those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation, during a Memorial Day ceremony today.

The National Cemetery Administration hosted ceremonies across the country with the help of local communities.

Each community added their own special touch of patriotism and “thanks” from a grateful nation during the events.

Participants and attendees included local military, Veteran Service Organizations, and community and elected leaders.

Honor guards presented the colors and rendered military salutes, bands performed patriotic music, and participants spoke of the selfless service and sacrifice of veterans, while attendees paid tribute to the more than 1 million military personnel who died to preserve America’s freedoms.

At Alabama National Cemetery, Cemetery Director Quincy M. Whitehead welcomed approximately 1,200 attendees while Thomas Muir delivered the keynote address.

David Baird, ABC 33/40 anchor, acted as master of ceremonies.

Congressman Gary Palmer, Congressman Spencer Bachus, MG Perry Smith, Ms. Malia Thibado, Apostle Calvin and Minister Beverly Meadows, Homeland, Walker County Honor Guard, Bugles across America and Barry Wynn and American Legion Matthew Blount Post 555 also participated.

The ceremony began at 9 a.m. and lasted approximately an hour and 10 minutes.

“It is a privilege to be able to pay tribute to our nation’s heroes,” said Muir. “We are honored to have such a supportive community, one that shows such patriotism and appreciation for our heroes who lost their lives defending our nation.”

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 25 in 2015).

Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. service members who died while in the military service.
First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.