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Suydam, Sherwood serve as Memorial Day speakers

By Staff | May 29, 2015

The Bolivar-Harpers Ferry District Veterans once again sponsored their annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony on Monday. The group is comprised of veterans from all around Jefferson County..

The parade, which travels from the post office in Harpers Ferry to Harpers Ferry Middle School is led each year by members of the Jefferson High School Junior ROTC. In addition, members of the middle school’s marching band provide musical entertainment.

Serving as guest speaker for the event was Major Philip Suydam, commander of the Jefferson High School Junior ROTC.

Suydam spoke on the true meaning of Memroial Day, which he said was to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“This is a day of gratitude,” he told those gathered. “Gratitude for all who have served.”

He called for everyone to take part in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

“This moment was created to develop national unity,” he said. “It is a way to reclaim Memorial Day as a noble and sacred holiday,” he said.

Serving as the speaker at the Memorial Day event at Edge Hill Cemetery, John M. Sherwood spoke of the wayside exhibit unveiled Friday at Harpers Ferry Middle School. Sherwood is a member of the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry District Veterans Association, who led the way for the new exhibit.

Having served in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps from 1966-1970, Sherwood also served as CEO of Jefferson Memorial Hospital before his retirement.

An active volunteer in the community, Sherwood shared stories of his interaction with Hospice patients who are veterans. He spends many hours with these veterans as well as others under hospice care.

At both ceremonies, memorial wreaths were laid in honor of the day. Harpers Ferry Middle School Band played at their school while Charles town Middle School Band played selections at Edge Hill.

The Jefferson County Honor Guard offered a rifle salute at the conclusion of the Edge Hill ceremony, after which all were invited to travel to the VFW Post on East Liberty Street for a complimentary lunch.