Community gathers for Memorial Day service in Ocean Pines
OCEAN PINES, Md. – When many Americans think of Memorial Day, they think of the beach, barbecuing, and soaking up the sun. But Monday morning the community gathered to honor those who gave their lives to serve our country. “There are probably a million people on the beaches right now. There are many people back in Salisbury and here in Ocean Pines who are going to be barbequing today. But they should enjoy it. They should enjoy every bit of it because there are a lot of sacrifices that went into having the freedom to spend time with family,” said Salisbury Mayor Jake Day.
Mayor Day shared his sentiments as the keynote speaker after recently returning from a tour of duty in Djibouti with the Army National Guard. “Being here after having been away for so long and apart from our community, from the Eastern Shore, from Maryland – it’s a joy. It’s an absolute joy,” said Mayor Day.
The mayor says the ceremony was a chance to remind the loved ones of those fallen men and women that while they may have lost a loved one, they gained a new family and support system. “They may have lost someone, but they’re not alone. They’ve got a community and a country that’s going to put their arms around them,” said Mayor Day.
That feeling of respect, unity, and solidarity was made complete with a wreath laying, a rendition of taps, a rifle volley, and live music. Director of the Delmarva Chorus Carol Ludwig says sometimes music can be one of the most healing ways to reflect. “A warmth comes into you that helps you to get through it. You know you’re doing it for them and you’re singing from your heart. You have to get a little technical minded to keep from losing it,” said Ludwig.
Ludwig tells 47ABC the Delmarva Chorus came together shortly before 9/11. Today, Ludwig says they’re continuing to show up at every opportunity they can to support military members and their families. “Our country is in need of this recognition, and with all the dangers all over the world and the sentiments, sometimes, against the United States, we have to depend on our people to be patriotic – young and old,” said Ludwig.
That support was made even sweeter by being able to come together once again. “We did the virtual Memorial Day last year. We were part of that, and it’s just not the same. You don’t have someone to sing to, but you think about them,” said Ludwig.