RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Today is a day to look back and remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
To honor those fallen heroes, the Virginia War Memorial hosted its 63rd annual Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony.
Governor Ralph Northam was the ceremony’s keynote speaker.
“They had pride in their country, their unit and themselves. And loyalty to their fellow soldiers,” Northam said
The program, co-hosted by American Legion Department of Virginia’s 11th District, also featured a rifle salute, the playing of Taps, the placing of memorial wreaths, and music by the Benedictine High School Chorus and the Combined Bands of Clan McLeod & Benedictine of St. Andrews Legion.
Wreaths were placed in the ‘Shrine of Memory.’ Gold Star mom Ruth Eileen Osmolski lost her son John in Iraq a few years ago.
“It gives me hope, and some consolation that the country is not going to forget my son’s sacrifice,” Osmolski said.
She told 8News seeing this ceremony grow each year fills her with joy.
“It’s pretty amazing that they’ve given up this part of the day in the heat and the sun to come down here and remember and honor the fallen,” Osmolski said.
Memorial Day for Osmolski is about memories.
“We have some lovely memories of John,” Osmolski said.
Ceremonies were also held at three state veterans cemeteries in Amelia, Dublin and Suffolk.
If you would like to visit the Virginia War Memorial, they’re open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.