Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Sunday Memorial Day Ceremony in Churchville To Honor Native Son

World War I Dough Boy tombstone for Russell Snyder, located in Green Hill Cemetery, Churchville, Virginia. Born Aug 30, 1892, died Oct 8, 1918. Pvt, 11 Co CAC, Fort Mott, Salem, NJ. The statue is extremely detailed and must have cost a great deal of money. Here is a better photo of the dough boy tombstone.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Will Bear in Churchville with an invitation to the Memorial Day observance on Sunday, May 28,  at Green Hill Cemetery. It is a local commemoration that is open to the public, and is a reminder of why we remember all fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.

A casualty of World War II, Winfield Liggett is buried in France but a headstone in Churchville is a reminder of this native son.

This year will feature a local family’s contribution to the world’s largest amphibious military operation to liberate World War II France. Winfield Liggett III was assigned to what would often be the lead company (of the lead battalion of the lead regiment) of the 29th Division offensive operations. Wounded in the Normandy invasions, he returned to France and later died in the intense fight for the port city of Brest.

Jimmy Kilbourne,  Executive Director of Staunton’s Stonewall Brigade 116th Infantry Regiment Foundation and Museum, has compiled his research about this Virginian to reveal the fascinating story of sacrifice for freedom.

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Memorial Day 2017 … Small Town Honors Fallen With Moment of Silence

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The annual Memorial Day tribute in front of our house from my Air Force Vietnam-era veteran husband.

On this Memorial Day weekend, a special memory comes to mind that epitomizes the meaning of the day.

It was Memorial Day in 2009 in the central Shenandoah Valley. My sister and I had made a last-minute trip to the local Food Lion in Staunton for a forgotten cookout item when now-retired manager Dan Pritchett’s voice came over the intercom at the Coalter Street store. In his soft southern voice, he addressed employees and customers:

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is Memorial Day. The store will shut down for the next 60 seconds as we observe a moment of silence in honor of America’s fallen heroes.”

Perhaps this is one of the things I love most about living in a small town.

Dan Pritchett

News Leader photo

It was 3:00 pm on Memorial Day, the time of the national moment of silence. The cashiers stopped checking out customers. Muzak was turned off. Customers paused in aisles while employees ceased working. The store was essentially shut down and for the next 60 seconds all observed a moment of silence for America’s fallen military heroes. Among those was an uncle I never knew, a casualty of battle in Germany just six weeks before the end of World War II in Europe.

Thanks to Mr. Pritchett, the small town of Staunton in western Virginia paused to remember … this town that is home to the Stonewall Brigade, the 116th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army National Guard, founded in 1741 and active during the Civil War, World War II, and most recently deployed to Bosnia, Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan … this community that turns out when troops deploy and return from battle.

It is also home to the Statler Brothers whose “More Than a Name on a Wall” is their own hauntingly poignant tribute to those who died for God and country, and returned home draped in the American flag: “She said, ‘Lord my boy was special and he meant so much to me. And oh I’d love to see him just one more time, you see. All I have are the memories and the moments to recall. So Lord could You tell him he’s more than a name on a wall.’ ”

Freedom is not free….

Staunton area community welcomed home the Stonewall Brigade in 2011 after deployment to Iraq.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell

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‘Arlington’

“Arlington”
Artist: Trace Adkins
Music by Jeremy Spillman — Lyrics by Dave Turnbull

This song was inspired when lyricist and Virginia Tech graduate Dave Turnbull heard the story of a young Tennessee U.S. Marine, Corporal Patrick Nixon, who was killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 23, 2003.  He was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery. After a chance encounter in Nashville with Corporal Nixon’s father who said he had just returned from burying his son at Arlington,  Turnbull felt inspired to write the song.

Teaming up with Jerry Spillman who wrote the melody, they put the story to music to honor those who had died to protect America. The haunting melody and lyrics reflect the thoughts of a soldier who died on the battlefield and was laid to rest on that sacred ground along with thousands of others who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

In 2006 Mr. Turnbull, a successful lyricist in Nashville, sent a framed copy of the lyrics to his cousin, then-chairman of the Augusta County Republican Committee Kurt Michael, who delivered it to the mother of a fallen Augusta County Marine. Memorial Day 2016 … may we never forget.

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Memorial Day 2016 service in Gypsy Hill Park, Staunton

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NEVER FORGET: Monday’s Memorial Day service at 10am in Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton, hosted by the veterans of VFW Post 2216, VFW Post 7814, VFW Post 19826, and American Legion Post 13, is always a moving and respectful remembrance of America’s military members who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of freedom.

We remember … freedom is not free.

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Memorial Day 2016 … we remember

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Memorial Day 2016 … freedom is not free.

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Rolling Thunder rolled through Staunton

Rolling Thunder

Patriot Riders from D.C.’s Rolling Thunder.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

No, not the entire Rolling Thunder consisting of hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists. However, three Guardian Angels who had participated in Rolling Thunder in D.C. over the Memorial Day weekend stopped at Jake’s Convenience Store on Rt. 250 west of Staunton Monday, pulling in and parking beside us. They had stopped for Subway sandwiches, eating at the outside tables in the pleasant Shenandoah Valley breeze before resuming their journey.

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Memorial Day national moment of silence honored by small town

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The annual Memorial Day tribute in front of our house from my Air Force Vietnam-era veteran husband.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It was Memorial Day in 2009 in the central Shenandoah Valley city of Staunton when manager Dan Pritchett’s voice came over the intercom at the Food Lion grocery store located on Coalter Street. In his soft southern voice, he addressed employees and customers:

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is Memorial Day and the store will shut down for the next 60 seconds as we observe a moment of silence in honor of America’s fallen heroes.”

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Memorial Day … a salute to those who did not come home

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell
[Editor’s note: This is an encore post from Memorial Day 2014. Sadly, one gentleman in the story — our Vietnam War tunnel rat neighbor — passed away two weeks after this was written. He is not forgotten (see Husband, neighbor, friend, Vietnam vet … saying goodbye and Passings: Honoring a Vietnam veteran).]

It’s Memorial Day 2014. Our Korean War veteran neighbor stopped by the house this morning looking for my Vietnam-era vet husband who was across the street visiting with our Vietnam veteran neighbor. Now the three of them are sitting out there talking … one can imagine the conversation between these friends, neighbors, and military survivors.

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Memorial Day … a salute to those who did not come home

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s Memorial Day 2014. Our Korean War veteran neighbor stopped by the house this morning looking for my Vietnam-era vet husband who was across the street visiting with our Vietnam veteran neighbor. Now the three of them are sitting out there talking … one can imagine the conversation between these friends, neighbors, and military survivors.

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George W. Bush on Memorial Day 2014: ‘May we always honor them’

George W. Bush 44 Memorial DayBy Lynn R. Mitchell

George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, honored America’s fallen heroes:

“On Memorial Day, America’s thoughts go to the courageous men and women of the United States Armed Forces who gave their lives for the country they love. They defended our Nation, liberated the oppressed, and served the cause of liberty. Every moment we live in freedom was secured by their sacrifice, and every American is in their debt. We can never repay what they gave for this country, but on this holiday, we acknowledge that debt by showing our respect and gratitude.

“Laura and I join a grateful Nation in paying tribute to the brave citizens who laid their lives down for our liberty. May we always honor them. May we always embrace their families. And may we always be faithful to who they were and what they fought for.

“May God bless our troops, veterans, and the families who stand beside them. And may God continue to bless America.”

May we never forget….

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Memorial Day: Augusta County, Staunton City public schools in session

American flags ArlingtonBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Students in Augusta County and Staunton public schools are in class today, one of the last snow makeup days after the long, rough winter of 2013-14.

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A Wintergreen Memorial Day

By Lynn R. Mitchell

There’s an abundance of activities going on in and around the Shenandoah Valley for the long Memorial Day weekend. Here’s a list of events at Wintergreen Resort.

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