A day of remembrance

The presentation of the wreath at Cullman Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday, May 25, 2024 (Gauge Day)

Cullman community honors fallen heroes

CULLMAN, Ala. – Set against the backdrop of monuments commemorating various wars and the lives lost in them, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) led the community in a poignant memorial service at the Cullman Veterans Memorial Park within Sportsman Lake Park this past Saturday. The service was dedicated to remembering those who gave their lives to secure the freedoms Americans enjoy today.

Commander of Chapter 101 of the DAV, Chris Dutton, led the ceremony and emphasized the importance of Memorial Day.

“As a veteran, I am deeply humbled to stand before you, representing the countless individuals who answered the call of duty throughout our nation’s history,” he said. “Each one of them, from the fields of Gettysburg to the mountains of Afghanistan, gave everything they had to protect the freedoms we hold dear.”

Dutton continued, “Memorial Day is more than just a day off from work, or a chance to enjoy a barbecue with family and friends. It’s a sacred day, a day to honor the selflessness, courage and sacrifice of those who never made it home. It’s a day to remember the families left behind, who carry the weight of their loved one’s absence every single day.”

A wreath was presented at the center of Cullman Veterans Memorial Park, honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The act of presenting a wreath on Memorial Day is a time-honored tradition that symbolizes remembrance and respect for those fallen. It serves as a powerful reminder of the bravery and selflessness of those who have given their lives for their country.

Dutton continued by reflecting on what Memorial Day means to those who have served.

“For those of us who have served, Memorial Day holds a special significance. It’s a day for us to pay tribute to our fallen comrades, honor their memory and carry forth their legacy – to reflect on the true cost of freedom and recommit ourselves to upholding the values in which they fought and died for,” Dutton stated.

Nestled in the corners of the pavilion were hand-woven red poppies, also known as Remembrance Poppies, symbolizing the bloodshed of war and those lost in them. These poppies serve as a strong reminder of the everlasting gift given through the sacrifice of the brave men and women who gave their lives.

Hand-woven red poppies, or Remembrance Poppies, as they are often known, decorated the pavilion at the Memorial Day event on May 25, 2024. (Gauge Day)

With “Taps” played as veterans stood in salute of their fallen kin, and many words shared befitting of the memories of those no longer here, the ceremony approached its end. Dutton concluded the ceremony with a final word.

“As we gather at memorials and cemeteries across the country today, let us not only mourn the loss of those who have gone before us, but also draw inspiration from their example. Let us be reminded of the power of unity, resilience and unwavering dedication to a cause greater than ourselves. Let us honor the memory of our fallen heroes not just with words, but by living lives worthy of their sacrifices and by ensuring that their memories will never be forgotten. Thank you, and God bless the United States.”

Each year the VFW and DAV hold ceremonies throughout Cullman as a way to remember those who lost their lives and those veterans still here today.

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