Indian Head Memorial Day Ceremony

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Indian Head Memorial Day Ceremony

Indian Head, MD - 5/31/2011

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By Monifa Tarjamo

As the sound of Taps filtered through the room, audience members at the Indian Head Village Green Pavilion took time to reflect and embrace the memories of their loved ones on this Memorial Day.Loved ones whose lives were cut short by the indiscriminant nature of war.Janet Christianson’s brother, Bobby Shegogue was a 1968 graduate of La Plata High School, a star football player and an avid athlete.He signed up for the Marines before graduation and was in Vietnam by January of 1969.On July 18, 1969, at the tender age of 19 he died of wounds received on active duty.Christianson celebrated his memory and said the ceremony was more personal because her brother was recognized, “I’m overwhelmed and speechless”.

The ceremony focused on soldiers whose names were listed on the Indian Head memorial and the audience was able to learn a little bit more about them.CDR Elvis Mikel, Naval Support Activity South Potomac said, “Americans have never faltered and their sacrifice knows no bounds, the legacy of freedom and values are honored by being appreciative of what we have and never forget”.Audience members reflected on heroes lost sitting alongside surviving war heroes.Heroes such as, Raymond Arnold from Accokeek who served in Vietnam in 1967-1968, “This ceremony brings up a lot of memories, its good to see the people that did make it home”.The Memorial Day ceremony brought comfort and unity to those in attendance.

This event included a special honor for Richard E. Hayes, a 1966 graduate of Lackey High School.Susan Hayes said her older brother was very giving and caring with his nine siblings, he was very active with the Bryans Road fire department and he always had a beautiful lady on his arm.After being drafted, his tour started in Vietnam on September 1,1967 and he was killed on November 26,1967.Susan Hayes said, “Richard was buried with full military honors, resting amongst many other heroes who served.”For the Hayes family, it’s been 44 years since they lost Richard.For many others the wounds are fresh as we are still involved in several conflicts around the world, conflicts that put our American soldiers in precarious situations in unknown lands.

Senior Master Sergeant U.S Air Force (Ret.) Louis L. Knight served in Vietnam from 1970-1971, he reminded the audience during the benediction, “Freedom rides on the shoulders of so many men and women”.Soldiers who are honored on Memorial Day, but should be remembered everyday of the year for their sacrifice.

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