Remarks – Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony

Remarks by U.S. Charge d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers

Clifton Pier, Nassau, The Bahamas

May 28, 2018

 

Your Excellency, Minister Dames, Minister Henfield, Leader of the Opposition, distinguished guests, thank you for joining us on this solemn occasion.

During the Civil War President Lincoln delivered formidable words at the Gettysburg battleground in 1863.  He challenged the assembled crowd to always remember the enormous significance of the sacrifices that had been made there –

“ …..these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

From a terrible war and these powerful words, Memorial Day began as a way to honor those who lost their lives during one of the most tragic times in U.S. history.

Today, across America’s cities and towns, Memorial Day will once again be observed.  Parents will stand with their children along parade routes waving flags; families will place flowers on graves; and others will reflect in front of war memorials, like this one, in remembrance of servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom.

This particular monument, erected in stone, is a testament to the 10 sailors of Patrol Squadron 23 who tragically lost their lives on May 7th, 1954.  It also stands as a tribute to all those who lost their lives in the Armed Services, not just here in The Bahamas, but around the world.