Photo Gallery: Columbia Remembers the Dead with Memorial Day Ceremony | Colombia


“We call this Memorial Day. Truly, every day is Memorial Day. We must always remember to honor those who have served.

These words from U.S. Army veteran Tommy Olds, commander of the SC Combat Veterans Group, sum up the message delivered at a Memorial Day ceremony Monday at Columbia’s Memorial Park.

Organized by the Columbia Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America (Col. Jack Van Loan. Chapter 305), the event included several speakers, musical performances and a wreath laying ceremony.

Olds spoke on behalf of all veterans who have returned home showing their gratitude for those who have not.

“I’m a 7th grade dropout, drafted at 18 1/2, sent to Vietnam when I was 19. I wanted to live to be 21,” Olds said. “I asked God to let me live to see 21, to come home and be with my mum. Today I am here at 74. I know that 58,000 people in Vietnam gave their lives.

Richland County Councilor Allison Terracio also delivered a message of gratitude.

“We are grateful to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We are grateful to the families who sit here today who lost their loved ones because they came forward for service,” Terracio said. “These are people who showed up to do their duty. They knew they were in danger. They knew they were putting themselves in danger. And yet they went anyway. And some didn’t come home so others could come home.

Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday by Congress in 1971.


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