Cummings delivers Memorial Day message
Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 10:56 pm
By: Kevin Bowden, Staff Reporter
Sergeant first class Chris Cummings
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Chris Cummings’ speech at Sunday afternoon’s Me-morial Day service in Union City served as a somber reminder of the ultimate sacrifice of America’s soldiers.
The Memorial Day Ser-vice was held indoors at the Jones-Walker VFW Post 4862 and featured several members of the local VFW post.
It was Cummings, though, who delivered a very powerful keynote speech highlighting the strength and commitment of America’s fighting forces. He currently holds the rank of sergeant first class with the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 194th Engineer Brigade in Jackson and has served two tours of duty in Iraq.
In describing Memorial Day, Cummings said, “To those of us here today, it is a day to remember why we have the freedom and opportunity to do all those other things. It is a day to remember our veterans … those who have fallen in battle and those who survived.”
He also reminded the audience of the recent loss of America’s last World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, who died Feb. 27 at his home in West Virginia, at the age of 110.
Cummings went on to list the number of service members lost in World War I, 11,708; World War II, 416,800; Korea, 36,516; Vietnam, 58,212; Afghanistan, 1,507; and in Iraq, 4,454 as of May 22.
“This is a day to reflect on those losses,” Cummings said. “This is a day to reflect on our service members, those who have fought their last battle and those that continue to fight today. But it is also a day to reflect on our current military and where it is going.”
Cummings described an American military that has become more diverse, better equipped and better trained “than any fighting force in the history of the world.”
“Our military, your military, has adapted to the changing face of the enemy,” he said. “Our weapons are better, our vehicles are better, our intelligence is better and our leadership is better equipped to deal with the constantly changing battlefield.”
Also during Sunday afternoon’s service, tribute was paid to the 75 Obion County service men and women who have died and there was also a special POW-MIA memorial. Local Veterans Affairs Officer Chuck Ashley announced that American flags had been placed on the graves of the county’s war dead.
Sunday’s service began and ended with a prayer and the patriotic program closed with the playing of Taps.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 5.30.11