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Memorial Day Ceremony draws good crowd

J. H. Osborne • May 25, 2020 at 7:00 PM

KINGSPORT — The Tri Cities Military Affairs Council, an umbrella organization for local veterans groups, hosted a Memorial Day ceremony Monday morning at the Kingsport Veterans Memorial.

“On Memorial Day, tradition dictates that the Stars and Stripes are raised briskly against the wind to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to half staff and it will remain that way until noon,” TC-MAC’s Ernie Rumsby said during the ceremony. “It is then raised to full staff. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in the service of this great nation. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice to be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and to continue to fight for liberty. So many mothers and wives, husbands and fathers, extended family and friends, do their duty every day to ensure their loved one is remembered. They carry on each day with pictures on mantles, and mementos of a life not fully lived. They carry on understanding their soldier chose this life of service and thus they understood the potentiality of their deaths for the sake of freedom. Those men and women left behind carry on their soldier’s message, raising up their memory, like an unfurled flag. Today we also honor the families of those lost, for you bear a burden that only you can comprehend. We are grateful for the support you gave your soldiers, so they could carry out the mission of protecting the rest of us. It is our responsibility as citizens to remember the nation’s brave fallen men and women, whether they died on foreign lands in the heat of battle, or after a lifetime in the uniform of our armed forces. Never forget the men and women who knew all too much the cost of our freedom. For their service to this country is the greatest gift of all. God bless those deployed today, in harm’s way, providing us the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful day and our great nation. God bless us in these challenging times. God bless each of you. And God bless America.”

Local veterans groups participating in the ceremony included the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 979, American Legion Post 3, AMVETS Post 37, and Korean War Veterans Chapter 289.

The ceremony was streamed and can be viewed on the TC-MAC’s Facebook page, as well as on the city’s YouTube channel,TC-MAC’s Ernie Rumsby said.