Memorial Day isn’t just a day to fire up the grill and acknowledge the unofficial start of summer.
Many appropriately observe our American holiday by honoring soldiers who died serving in our U.S. military.
The holiday originated after the Civil War under the name of “Decoration Day.” The renamed Memorial Day became a federally recognized national holiday in 1971.
Some families also observe the holiday by leaving flowers on headstones at local cemeteries, while others host gatherings of family and friends.
While the city of Enid will close the recycling center and will not run Enid Public Transportation on Monday, the annual Memorial Day celebration at Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park is happening, but this year will be a virtual event due to coronavirus safety precautions.
The online Memorial Day ceremony was recorded Wednesday and will be shown on the WWOH Facebook page at 10 a.m. Monday at https://www.facebook.com/WoodringWall.
WWOH board vice president Coni Blankenship will serve as emcee for the event, and state Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid, will be the keynote speaker.
Keri Hake, sister of fallen Army Staff Sgt. Chris Hake, will sing a special song honoring Gold Star families during Monday's online ceremony.
Staff Sgt. Hake, a 2000 graduate of Oklahoma Bible Academy, was killed in March 2008 while on patrol in southern Baghdad, Iraq, with 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, of Fort Stewart, Ga.
Brenda Bingham of Enid Blue Star Mothers will speak during the ceremony on the sacrifices made by American service men and women, and why Americans should continue to remember and honor them.
Keegan Tuohy will play Taps while members of Vietnam Veterans of America Post 9401 lay a wreath at the Vietnam Memorial Wall, and a bell-ringing ceremony will take place for all 31 Oklahomans still listed as missing in action from the war in Vietnam.
"We should never forget — never, not for an instant — the sacrifices made, not only in our war but in all wars," said Jack Wagner, a Vietnam veteran of the Army's Americal Division and a WWOH board member. "I want people to see all the crosses and realize their freedom and liberty are not free. I costs a lot of blood for us to retain freedom in America."
Let’s join together to honor our patriots for paying the ultimate price on Memorial Day. It’s a small gesture to thank them for their ultimate sacrifice.