On Monday, May 30 the American Legion Post 3, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6483 and the Milford Community Band honored the soldiers that have served the United States Military and given the ultimate sacrifice, with a Memorial Day Service held at the Milford Senior Center. The Milford Community Band played patriotic music with a sing-along.
The theme for this year’s event was “The Korean War”. Charles Garrod, a Korean War Veteran, assumed the role of Ceremony Chairman. Charles also has served as the Delaware Department Commander of the Korean War Veterans Association. Garrod stated that the Korean War was the first test of the United Nations resolve to stand against tyranny, the first time minorities were fully integrated into the regular military units and the first war to use jet fighter planes in combat. There were 33,739 deaths and 103,284 wounded in the Korean War.
“Thank you all for coming today to cherish the memories of the courageous american military heroes who sacrificed their lives so we in this great nation can enjoy our freedoms,” said Garrod. “Today is not a celebration, it is a remembrance of those that gave their all.”
Mayor of Milford, Bryan Shupe, extended a welcoming speech to all. “Our county, from its beginnings, made a distinction from those that came before us,” said Shupe. “A distinction in the way in which our men and women would serve. Their sacrifices would not be made in the name of one President, one political party or even one nation. They would be made in a conscience effort to continue mankind’s march forward to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.”
This year’s keynote speaker was Coast Guard LT. Eric Hanson, the Marine Safety Detachment Supervisor at the station in Lewes, DE. “As a proud Coast Guardsman and also a proud American I think the simplest explanation for why we are all here today is the way I explained it to my four year old daughter yesterday as I was preparing this speech,” said Hanson. “I told her we are here to set aside our regular routines to reconnect with a history and a set of values by honoring those who served and gave their lives for ideals that make this country so great. A country and ideals which I truly cherish and try not to overlook every day.”
The ceremony honored the men and women that sacrificed their lives, in the name of freedom. Branches of the United States military were honored with a wreath presentation and armed forces tribute by family members of the deceased. Members of the American home front, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Air Force stood to be honored for their service.
As Ceremony Chairman Charles Garrod’s first year, he recognized Malcolm “Mac” Foster, who has been connected with Milford’s Veterans and Memorial Day events for the past twenty-two years. State Representative Harvey Kenton and Senator Gary Simpson presented Foster with House and Senate Resolutions of Appreciation. Foster served in the United States military during WWII, as Quartermaster of a German Prison Camp in Tennessee. The camp housed German soldiers that surrendered to the allied forces and were brought back from Europe on military ships.
Following the twenty one gun salute, member of the Milford veterans organization read the names of members that have died in the past year as the remembrance bell was sounded after each name. The Bayside4 accapala singing group, a certified sweet adelines group led the attendees in the national anthem, the battle hymn of the Republic, this is my County and God Bless America.