Governor Beebe Gives Memorial Day Address at State Veterans Cemetery
(North Little Rock) The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs hosted a Memorial Day ceremony at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery Monday, May 31, 2010. This is the second year a Memorial Day ceremony was held at the cemetery. Last year’s event was rained out.
The ceremony began with the Patriot Guard Riders marching up and lining around the Committal Shelter with their American flags as the Little Rock AFB Color Guard presented the colors.
Emcee Gene McVay, State Commander of the American Legion, spoke on the service of the men and women of the military who have passed on. “These brave men and women answered the call to serve and protect our country and the ideals we cherish. Their spirit lives on in our liberty.”
All branches of the military and veterans from WWII to Afghanistan were seen in the crowd of 500.
As Governor Beebe gave the annual Memorial Day address, he spoke of a soldier that was killed only a few days before in Iraq and reflected on having to call his wife just the day before. The Governor said that when young people ask him what the hardest part of his job is, his reply is always the same. “I have never failed to give the same answer. The hardest part of this job is making that telephone call to a wife or mother or father or brother or sister.”
He closed by saying, “We gather today to pay tribute to every single person who has ever lost their life in defense of our country and to every single family member who has lost a loved one in that regard”
The ceremony concluded with a Sea Service conducted by Carl Schmidt, State President of the Fleet Reserve Association. Jack Harrell rang a bell for each Fleet Reserve Association of Arkansas member that passed away since May of last year.
Over 70 volunteers helped with the ceremony. The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs salutes these heroes for their service.
See more photos at the Governor's Web site.
Arkansas Memorial Day Proclamations