Columbus, Ohio –
Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime and Defense Supply Center Columbus Commander U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Kristen Fabry spoke to a crowd of more than 100 attendees in Bexley, Ohio, at the community’s Memorial Day service May 30.
The event, held at the city’s World War II memorial, signaled Bexley’s commitment to continuing to hold their annual holiday tradition in person, as last year marked a return to the annual in-person celebration since opting for virtual events due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Bexley officials adhered to all recommended public health and safety recommendations and reminded all those in attendance that masks were not required but social distancing was still encouraged.
The 338th Army Band, a U.S. Army Reserve military band stationed in Whitehall, Ohio, kicked off the ceremony with traditional patriotic hymns, followed by the Bexley Police Honor Guard’s presentation of the colors while the 338th played their rendition of the National Anthem. Following the posting of the colors, Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler welcomed guests and dignitaries in attendance before providing a brief history on Memorial Day. Kessler concluded his opening remarks by introducing and welcoming Fabry, the day’s keynote speaker.
“I’m truly excited to be invited back to share in your celebration of our nation’s Memorial Day,” Fabry said. “We’ve all weathered the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years and its frequent demands to adapt our health care practices as conditions evolved. We’re battle weary but uplifted through the positive energy being shared among us today at this Memorial Day event!”
Fabry continued her remarks by expressing what the annual holiday event means to her while reflecting upon her own military experience which began more than 30 years ago at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
While attending the Naval Academy, Fabry was able to witness firsthand musician Lee Greenwood, and the Naval Academy Band perform his hit song God Bless the USA during half-time festivities at the 1990 Army-Navy football game. Fabry shared that she carries that memory with her to this day and reflects upon Greenwood’s lyrics anytime she thinks about the ultimate sacrifice so many servicemembers have made for this country. She recited the song’s famous chorus with the audience, “And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me, and I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, 'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God bless the USA".
“We may not know the name of every service member we honor but each of us here keeps unique memories of loved ones that sustains their eternal presence,” Fabry said. “We can never forget them because they will always receive special remembrance and generate fond recollections of time well spent together.”
Following Fabry’s remarks, Kessler came to the podium and shared that Fabry would be taking part in the annual tradition of the wreath laying ceremony alongside the mothers of servicemembers from Bexley who are currently serving in the Armed Forces. For the second consecutive year, the event concluded with a stirring rendition of Taps performed by Bexley High School trumpeters Diego Leon and Jordan Steinbrook.
Bexley is located a few miles outside the gates of the neighboring DSCC military installation.