Memorial Day ceremony moves indoors

Published 5:39 pm Monday, May 27, 2024

American Legion Post 49, for the second year in a row, held its Memorial Day ceremony indoors at the Smithfield Center as rain poured outside. Retired Army Lt. Col. Peter Badoian, Smithfield High School’s Junior ROTC instructor, was this year’s keynote speaker.

The holiday that for many marks the start of the summer season “is a day for both grief and celebration,” Badoian said, who noted he was fortunate not to be deployed to a combat zone and “never had to witness the loss of my brothers and sisters in arms.”

Del. Otto Wachsmann, R-Sussex, whose legislative district includes Isle of Wight County, and Smithfield Mayor Steve Bowman, also delivered remarks. Wachsmann noted Memorial Day began shortly after the Civil War.

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The event included performances by the Smithfield High School band and Choraliers, and a rifle volley salute to the fallen by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8545 members on the Smithfield Center balcony overlooking the Pagan River.