JOSHUA TREE, Calif. -- The Joshua Tree Memorial Park and Mortuary’s gravesites were speckled with American flags. A crowd of veterans, active-duty service members and local residents of the community filled rows of chairs as the color guard marched into place and the national anthem began to play during a Memorial Day service.
Combat Center Marines were featured in a Memorial Day ceremony at the Joshua Tree Memorial Park and Mortuary, May 26, 2014.
The event featured static displays of tactical vehicles from Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1’s color guard and a Memorial Day address made by Col. Andrew R. Kennedy, director, Tactical Training Exercise Control Group.
“The beauty of this day serves as a reminder of the beauty of life itself,” Kennedy said. “This commemoration is not about life, it’s about death and sacrifice. We are gathered here to remember the sacrifices of those who gave all they had and all they will ever have for the continuation of this great nation.”
The VMU-1 color guard marched the colors in front of the silent crowd. The national anthem began as men and women stood to honor the United States and Marine Corps colors.
After the colors were presented, a wreath ceremony was held, followed by the release of doves at the corner of the mortuary. The white winged fowls flew over the cemetery and a HQBN firing detail of seven Marines shot three volleys each, performing a 21-gun salute into the opposite direction.
The ceremony concluded, and all guests were invited to a barbecue held at the park.
As with the mission of the Marine Corps, the essence of Memorial Day will never change. Marines and members of the community alike recognize that all gave some, and some gave all. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.