Monday, May 26, 2014

Mount Olivet Cemetery 2014 Memorial Day Service

Each year I attend the Memorial Day Service at the Mount Olivet Cemetery with my chapter of  the Daughters of the American Revolution.  It is always a beautiful and moving service  It is also usually held outside next to the Dough Boy and GI statues in the center of the cemetery.  This year however it was held inside in the chapel because of the threat of a terrible thunderstorm.  Welcome to Texas.

I always love the presenting of the colors followed by the singing of our national anthem.

The service is like most with an invocation and welcome then the Mayor of Fort Worth presented the Certificate of Appreciation and Proclamation to the cemetery director.  This was followed by a beautiful arrangement of the Battle Hymn of the Republic sang by the choir from First Christian Church of Fort Worth.

And before the placing of the wreaths Captain Gilbert Miller, Commander NAS Fort Worth JRB gave the keynote address.

I grew up in Fort Worth as did most of those in attendance and we will always think of the Navel Air Station and Joint Reserve Base as our beloved Carswell Air Force Base.  Capt. Miller retold the story of Major Horace Carswell who the base was named after.  A native of Fort Worth and graduate of Texas Christian University, Carswell died 26 October 1944 while on a single-aircraft night mission against a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea.

He elected to make a second low-level run over a thoroughly alerted convoy and scored two direct hits on a large tanker. His co-pilot was wounded, and his aircraft had two engines knocked out, a third damaged, the hydraulic system damaged, and a fuel tank punctured. He managed to gain enough altitude to reach land, where he ordered the crew to bail out. Eight did, but the bombardier's parachute was too badly damaged to use. Instead of bailing out, Carswell stayed with the bombardier and the wounded co-pilot, and attempted a crash landing. The badly damaged aircraft crashed against a mountain, and all three aboard were killed. *

Our speaker then told us a second story and that was of his friend and comrade, Aaron Cranford that died at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.  And ever since that day thousands have died fighting for our freedom and protection.

That is what today is all about, remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Capt. Miller also encouraged those who have stories to tell them so they won't be forgotten.  The children need to know who the real hero are and it our responsibility to tell them.

At the end of the service several Veterans and Patriotic organizations come forward and place of memorial wreath in honor of our fallen vets.

And then my favorite part, the bagpipes.

And finally the 21 gun salute and Taps, the benediction, retreat, retiring of colors and adjournment.  It really is a beautiful service and I love going every year.


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