HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Hundreds gathered at Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville to mark this year’s Memorial Day.
Brigadier General Joe Stringham, a retired Army Ranger, did a Salute to the Fallen, “Who are these now faceless names we honor and remember, their deeds reflected in the history of this country from Trenton to Fallujah, with thousands of stops on the way?”
He lists off icy-veined helicopter pilots, wild adventurer naval aviators, and of course, the infantry on the ground. But he also pleads, “Do not forget another group of Americans today, non-combatants who feel the pain as strongly as those who have fallen in action.”
Stringham concludes, “Reflect on our fallen comrades, especially their gift to us, to you, and hope that by the God that made us, we are worth and deserving of their sacrifice.”
BG Douglas Gabram told a story from another soldier, stuck in traffic on his way in to Fort Campbell, “All of a sudden, just as the traffic was getting started again, the car in front of me abruptly stopped, and a soldier quickly jumped out in the pouring rain and ran toward the memorial grove.
“I couldn’t believe it.
“Horns started honking. I was furious. Everybody was furious.
“But this soldier soaked to the bone — I watched as he approached one of the memorial plagues.
“He picked up the small American flag that had fallen to the ground and put it back upright, then slowly came to attention, saluted, and ran back to his car.
“I’ll never forget that incident.
“That soldier whose name I will never know, taught me more about duty, honor, and respect that a hundred books or a thousand lectures ever could have.
“Never forget, honor forever, Army strong.”