COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Memorial Day weekend heralded a return to traditional in-person events beginning with observances held across Ohio to honor the nation’s fallen service members.
Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime and Defense Supply Center Columbus Commander U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Kristen Fabry spoke to a crowd of nearly 100 people in Bexley, Ohio, that included veterans and their families gathered at the community’s World War II memorial May 31.
“As a Navy flag officer, I’ve both participated in and observed many Memorial Day celebrations during my career, and it always fills me with pride to see that the spirit of remembrance still burns bright across our nation,” Fabry said. “Today we honor service members who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our beloved country and the values we espouse.”
The event was put together by members of American Legion Bexley Post 430 and Bexley official Bill Harvey. Bexley is located a few miles outside the gates of the neighboring DSCC military installation and historically extends the speaking invitation to the local commander.
Last year, Bexley did not hold its traditional Memorial Day service and instead opted for a virtual event because of the pandemic. This year, masks were not required for the outdoor ceremony but social distancing was encouraged. Still, the event carried on much as it has in years past.
The Bexley Police Honor Guard convened mid Monday morning to present the colors and kick off the ceremony followed by local musician Alexandra Avoli on hand to perform the National Anthem. Post 430 Commander Paul Kaltenecker welcomed guests before ceding the podium to Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler to introduce Fabry, the day’s keynote speaker. Post 430 Chaplain Linda Berry offered a closing prayer and the event concluded with a stirring rendition of Taps performed by Bexley High School trumpeters Diego Leon and Jordan Steinbrook.
“Every day there are American families who pray for the sound of a familiar voice when the phone rings,” the Bexley mayor said. “More than one million times in our history it didn’t come. Instead a car pulled up to the house and there was a knock on the front door. Let us resolve today and always to be people who honor [our] fallen and who are permanently and meaningfully dedicated to preserving a country and a world that is free of tyranny and oppression.”