Photo is the musket squad firing a salute. (Photos courtesy of Thomas "Chip" Daniel.)
On 30 May 2022, the Colonel James Wood II (CJWII) Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and the American Red Cross, with support of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2123 co-sponsored a commemoration to all military who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to the country. The practice of decorating soldiers graves is an ancient custom. Graves were decorated with flowers in the US during and following the Civil War and while numerous locations claim to be the originator of Decoration Day, Waterloo, NY was officially recognized as the birthplace of the observance in 1966. The ceremony was held at National Cemetery in Winchester. Stacy McFarland, Executive Director of the American Red Cross (ARC) of the Greater Shenandoah Valley provided a welcome followed by an Invocation from the Reverend James Simmons of the SAR. The CJWII Color Guard presented colors for the Pledge of Allegiance led by Charles Hunter, 1SG USA (Ret) (VFW) and the singing of the National Anthem led by Dale Corey CPT, USA (Ret) (CJWII). A Poem of Remembrance was provided by Karen Wallace-Williams followed by the Keynote Speaker, Joan Grewe, LTC USA (Ret). She spoke of the challenges of being a woman in the military and about the reason for Memorial Day. Dale Corey conducted a folding of the flag ceremony. After the folding, the flag was symbolically presented to LTC Grewe by the President of the CJWII, Thomas "Chip" Daniel. A musket squad led by commander Brett Osborn fired a three round salute in honor of all our fallen heroes, followed by Charles Hunter playing Taps. God Bless America was sung, a benediction and closing remarks ended the ceremony. Members of the American Red Cross who made this possible, included Leslie Caliva, Edie McGoff, RN LtCol, USAR (Ret), Claudia Bell, RN, LtCol, USAF (Ret) and Nancy Braswell, Col USAF (Ret). Participating compatriots from the CJWII Chapter included Sean Carrigan, David Cook (dual member from Fairfax Resolves Chapter), Jim Cordes (dual member from Fairfax Resolves), Dale Corey, Thomas "Chip" Daniel, Marshall DeHaven, David Jenkins, Brett Osborn, Will Reynolds, Clay Robinson, Eric Robinson, Marc Robinson, Jim Simmons, Mike St Jacques and Richard Tyler.
Photo is the CJWII color guard and supporters. Kneeling l. to r. Sean Carrigan, Mike St. Jacques, Dale Corey and Thomas "Chip" Daniel. Standing l. to r. Richard Tyler, Will Reynolds, Clay Robinson, Brett Osborn, Eric Robinson, Jim Cordes, Jim Simmons, Marc Robinson, David Jenkins, Anne Simmons and Marshall DeHaven
photo is the musket squad preparing for the ceremony