Not even the rain could dampen the spirits of the group who came to honor fallen heroes yesterday in the auditorium of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Building in Lawrenceville, GA. The venue, usually held at the Fallen Heroes Memorial was moved inside due to inclement weather.
The keynote speaker was highly decorated Captain Baron V. Reinhold, Commanding Officer, Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps, Atlanta Region. Captain Reinhold brought a timely message and charge to all in attendance, especially parents. “Our DNA takes us back to the founding of this great nation,” he remarked. But it can’t end there as each generation has a duty to teach their children unrevised history. The Constitution still guarantees freedoms that we the people enjoy today. “We must remind Americans, why and for whom, we pause to remember on Memorial Day.” As he said, a moment of remembrance is a step in the right direction. It’s good that we have a holiday that helps us to remember that while war is a regrettable thing, it’s sometimes necessary and not always avoidable.
The foundation of Captain Reinhold’s speech was taken from the Bible, John 15:13 which reads: Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. The Captain also invoked the words of the Prophet Jeremiah 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? He used these ancient words to make the point that the more civilized the world has become, the more benevolent America has become, letting down her guard.
Memorial Day remembrances are solemn and sad. Memorial Day 2018 was indeed a solemn occasion as a new inductee was added to the Fallen Heroes Wall: Specialist Etienne J. Murphy, 1995-2017. Specialist Murphy was a Snellville, GA resident and a graduate of South Gwinnett High School, where he was named the leading cadet, non-commissioned officer in the school’s JROTC program. He was originally from Boston and when referring to 9-11 he said, “I remember everything about it.” The events of that awful day, went into the making of a fine, dedicated soldier.
Specialist Murphy was a decorated, outstanding soldier who left behind his wife, Martha (his high school sweetheart), sons Noah and Isaac as well as parents, family and friends who continue to mourn his passing.
The Philadelphia Winn Chapter, NSDAR, usually distributes cold bottles of water for the attendees at the Fallen Heroes Memorial. Since the program was moved, it was not allowable to bring coolers inside the building. Several other patriotic groups were honored to be participants in the Memorial Day 2018 program. Those in attendance from Philadelphia Winn Chapter were: Cindy Gaskins, Babs Richman, Registrar Valerie Craft, Lee Schermerhorn, Vanessa Wynn, Regent Ann Story, Treasurer Ann Lockhart, Marcia Robertson, Beth Wolfe, Terri Tigh. Present but not in photo: Judy Dyer, Lynn Jacques, HODAR Frank Marchese.
The ceremony ended with the Laying of the Wreath and Taps.
For more information regarding the Philadelphia Winn Chapter of the NSDAR, please visit our website at philadelphiawinn.georgiastatedar.org