JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – Dreary weather did not prevent service members, veterans and citizens of DuPont from attending a Memorial Day event that included a wreath laying ceremony in honor of fallen service members, May 27.
The keynote speaker at the event, Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, I Corps commanding general, thanked those in attendance for enduring the weather to attend the ceremony as he spoke about the important connection between the city of DuPont and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
“We’re neighbors and we almost feel that DuPont is an extension of the base,” said Brown during his remarks. “It’s a great community and it’s a real special honor to be here.”
Brown also noted the importance of Memorial Day events when remembering fallen service members and their families.
“Memorial Day has evolved into much more than a day to mourn soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that have made the ultimate sacrifice, it’s a day that celebrates their lives and their service to our nation,” said Brown. “Memorials like this are important to help us never forget and to pull us together during these times where we must never forget. We owe it to those fallen heroes.”
Also speaking at the event was Rachel Elizalde-Powell, co-president of Wear Blue: Run to Remember, a non-profit organization that holds a run every Saturday in DuPont to honor fallen service members.
“Our mission is to create a living memorial to the service and sacrifice of the United States military,” said Powell.
Powell’s brother, Sgt. 1st Class Adrian M. Elizalde, was killed by an improvised explosive device in 2007. Powell drives from her home in Renton every week to attend the run in his memory.
“It may seem like it’s a somber moment for us to be out there but the reason that we come together every Saturday is so that we may remember that each and every one of those men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice had legacies, lives and stories,” said Powell.
Brown said it was great ideas like Wear Blue that help people remember the sacrifice of others.
“As you plan your celebrations here at the beginning of summer, take a moment to reflect on the meaning of this day. We should be grateful as a nation to those who gave so much to keep alive our heritage, liberty and democracy,” said Brown. “They gave everything to defend this nation built on life, liberty and hope. They did not fail us and we must not fail them.”