MAYS LANDING - People of all ages filled the Richard E. Squires pavilion at The Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery for the 32nd annual Memorial Day Service, which was held on Friday afternoon.
The event started with Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County executive, providing the welcome. “You will not find a more beautiful or solemn place,” said Levinson in his opening remarks.
After Levinson’s speech, the Atlantic County Sheriff Officers Color Guard and the Atlantic City Fire Department Sandpipers Pipes and Drums marched in procession to the pavilion.
Guests stood as the colors were presented, after which everyone sang the national anthem.
A surprise speaker at the ceremony was Peter Fantacone, a veteran who served in the Navy and was a part of the Invasion of Normandy. He stood to say a few words about that day. He quoted from the prayer that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the night of the invasion: “Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.”
This year’s keynote speaker was retired Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Pierson Sr., who served in the Army for more than 42 years. “It is said that no one is truly dead, unless forgotten,” said Pierson as he spoke about how veterans will not be forgotten.
The presentation of the Memorial Wreath followed Pierson’s speech. The wreath was placed by the flag pole in the middle of the cemetery, where the American flag flew at half-staff, as “Taps” played.
The Atlantic City Fire Department Sandpipers pipes and drums played “Amazing Grace” as the procession walked back to the pavilion for the benediction. The ceremony ended with the sound of bagpipes fading into the distance as the Color Guard and Sandpipes marched away.