In addition to the Memorial Day Parade, post members plan to place flags on all veterans’ graves in the cemeteries in the Virgin Islands. Legionnaires will also attend church services at selected churches, and a pre-Memorial Day Service will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 29, at Kingshill Cemetery.
The Memorial Day ceremony will be hosted by the Myron G. Danielson American Legion Post No. 85 of Christiansted on St. Croix, by the Patrick U. George Post No. 90 on St. Thomas and the Viggo E. Sewer Post No. 131 on St. John. The traditional observance at the cemetery has a long history.
The event on St. Croix will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Bassin Triangle where a parade will start and move on to the Christiansted Cemetery for a grave side service at the grave of Pvt. Bromley Berkley. The parade will then continue on to the Christiansted waterfront where a seaside service will be conducted.
The St. Thomas parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. from Western Cemetery, then move on to the Emile White Memorial for a seaside ceremony. People will then move to Veterans Park for the official Memorial Day Ceremony. Staff Sgt. Rae Rouse of the Virgin Islands National Guard (VING) will be the keynote speaker for that ceremony.
On St. John, a Memorial Day Service will be conducted at Frank Powell Sr. Park in Cruz Bay. The guest speaker for that ceremony will be Geneva Paris, sister of deceased Vietnam Veteran Kendal George.
Troops from VING will participate in the parade again this year along with the JROTC and scout troops. “While Memorial Day is intended to honor our fallen, we should not forget those who have pledged to make the same sacrifice if called upon – the young men and women still serving in the Armed Forces in more than 130 foreign lands,” David said.
As America’s older war veterans die, there are fewer and fewer standard-bearers left to carry the torch of remembrance. Such traditions will live on only if there is a vibrant movement to which that torch can be passed.
Now, more than in recent years, the enduring relevance of Memorial Day should be clearly evident. With the ever present turmoil in the Middle East, the public has no excuse not to remember.
David is also asking that residents fly the American flag on Memorial Day to express appreciation to all veterans and current members of the Armed Forces, and to join the nation at 3 p.m. for a moment of silence as citizens observe The National Moment of Remembrance, a tribute to the fallen comrades and their survivors. The flag is flown at half-mast until noon, at which time it will be raised to full staff.