Friday, May 22, 2009

VA Recognizes Military Sacrifices on Memorial Day

WASHINGTON (May 22, 2009) - From parades to somber ceremonies and a
moment of silence, Americans will recall the sacrifices of military
members who paid the ultimate price for freedom on Memorial Day, Monday,
May 25.

"From May 23 to May 30, commemorative events at VA national cemeteries
will present a sacred responsibility for employees and volunteers to
honor these greatest of American heroes," said Steve Muro, VA's acting
under secretary for memorial affairs. "Since the birth of Memorial Day
in 1866, national cemeteries have been the most visible expression of
our country's gratitude for their service."

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will continue its annual
tradition of hosting services at most of its national cemeteries and
many other facilities nationwide. The programs, which are the focus of
Memorial Day events in many communities, honor the service of deceased
Veterans and people who die on active duty.

For the dates and times of Memorial Day programs at VA national
cemeteries, visit .

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend activities at VA's
national cemeteries, with color guards, readings, bands and choir
performances. The events will honor about one million men and women who
died in wartime periods, including about 655,000 battle deaths.

Some national cemetery observances are unique. At VA's most active
cemetery, in Riverside, Calif., volunteers have been reading aloud --
since Armed Forces Day, May 17 -- the names of more than 150,000
Veterans buried there, and are expected to continue at least until the
Memorial Day program. In one-hour shifts around the clock, 500
volunteers - two to four at a time -- alternate reading the names.

The Dayton, Ohio, National Cemetery will host members of Veterans
organizations on the weekend before Memorial Day who will display 400
donated burial flags along the main road. The cemetery also expects
2,000 children and youths, many from Scout troops, to decorate more than
40,000 graves on the weekend in two hours.

VA's 128 national cemeteries include 13 that opened in the last 10
years. Another 3 cemeteries are under development. VA currently
maintains 18,000 acres where 2.9 million gravesites are located. By
2010, Veterans' burial space is expected to be available to 90 percent
of Veterans within 75 miles of where they live.

Information about Memorial Day, including its history, can be found at

VA is a cosponsor with the White House Commission on Remembrance of an
annual Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m., Eastern time, nationwide on
Memorial Day, a time to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of America's
fallen warriors and the freedoms that unite Americans. Many
institutions will announce a pause in their activities -- from sporting
events to public facilities -- to call the nation together in a common
bond of silence.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day when the tradition of
decorating Civil War graves began. It still brings loved ones to the
graves of the deceased, often with flowers as grave decorations.
Decorations honoring Veterans buried in national cemeteries are American
flags -- either individual small ones on each grave, usually placed by
volunteers, or "avenues of flags" flanking both sides of the cemetery
main entrance road. Often these flags are the burial flags donated by
next of kin of Veterans buried in the cemetery.


My step father and my mother Dale (NMN) Jennings TSGT USAF Retired 1941-1961 1908-2000 Mildred Esther (McDaniel-Bailey) Jennings 1932-1996 are buried in Riverside National cemetary my father who served in the 1916 Mexican Punitive Raid under General John Pershing Melvin Lathrop Bailey is buried on Arlington Ave Cemetary Riverside California he lived from Feb 24, 1900 to May 25, 1972 he rode in the 7th Calvary D Troop 1914-1916

From Colonel Dan

If the VA truly wanted to recognize the Sacrifices..veterans made

So many Veterans wouldn't die, with VA claims pending
So many claims remanded
So many claims denied for years

Wouldn't be such a disparity in claims awarded between VARO
Wouldn't be so many Veterans homeless with VA claims pending

It is an insult for Politicians to give speeches on Memorial Day
After ignoring veterans for years
VSO's would return calls, VA would follow their own rules & law

Sphere: Related Content