Dozens gather at Patriots Point to honor fallen servicemembers on Memorial Day

Published: May. 30, 2022 at 3:40 PM EDT|Updated: May. 30, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - The Lowcountry is observing Memorial Day, honoring veterans across the country who have donated their lives to help keep us safe, and dozens of veterans and families of veterans gathered at Patriots Point for an annual ceremony.

The veterans and family members said Memorial Day is a day of reflection and a day to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty protecting this country.

Patriots Point hosted a ceremony dedicated to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice at the Vietnam Experience on Monday.

During the ceremony, a musician played “Taps” on bagpipes and the JROTC members from Lucy Beckham High School presented the colors.

Featured speaker Tara McClary Reeves, the daughter of Purple Heart recipient Clebe McClary, said she’s thankful for Ralph H. Johnson, whom the Lowcountry’s V-A hospital is named after, for his sacrifice.

She says the 19-year-old African American man jumped on top of a grenade to save her father’s life during the Vietnam War, crediting his bravery for her existence.

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. James Flatley, who spent 31 years in the service, said Memorial Day is not a happy day.

“I think of it as a meaningful day,” Flately said. “Stop and think about service and sacrifice that so many of our countrymen and women have donated their lives, so the rest of us can live ours happily and productively.”

Flatley said the best way people can honor those who have fallen is to stop, pay their respects and continue being a good citizen.

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