2019 MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY “Honor and Observe National Heroes: Our Country Remembers and Salutes

The National Association of American Veterans, Inc. (NAAV) representatives attended 2019 Memorial Day Ceremony held at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and sponsored by HUD Veteran Affinity Group, Walter A. Elmore, M.A. Chairman and Vice- Chair Emeritus Special Advisor to the Interagency Advisory Council. This event was held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Brooke-Mondale Auditorium. This year’s theme: “A Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman, or Guardsman Only Dies If You Never Mention Their Name.” On this Memorial Day, the HUD Veterans Affinity Group (VAG) took time to “Honor, Observe, Remember Our Heroes” and the bravery of the Tuskegee Airmen, and the more than 80 Tuskegee Airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation.

About Memorial Day

Our history of Memorial Day dates to the post-Civil War era and has special meaning to Americans, particularly active duty military Veterans. Memorial Day is a day to “Honor, Observe, and Remember Our Heroes” and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice for American freedoms and liberties.
Among the many guests included the Gold Star Mothers, and the Gold Star Wives of our fallen soldiers who loved ones also have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The Honorable Jack Bergman, United States Representatives (R-Michigan 1st District) Lieutenant General, United States Marine Corps (Retired) gave the keynote address remembering and honoring all Service member, Veterans and their families and especially those who gave their life in defense of this nation. Other honored guest speakers included: The Honorable Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Tuskegee Airmen Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Jefferson, United States Army Air Corps (Retired); and a representative for Lieutenant Colonel Harry Tl Stewart Jr., United States Army Air Corps (Retired) who both received an award followed by awards presented to family members of the fallen representing the Gold Star Mothers, Inc., Maryland Chapter and the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., of Potomac Chapter, Northern, VA and Capitol View Chapter.

vets getting awards
stage with solider
people stage
People standing around the wreath


Missing Man Table

A small table set with a white tablecloth to symbolize
the pure intentions of the service members who responded
to the country’s call to arms.

A single rose in the vase symbolizing the blood that service
members have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of
the United States of America.

A slice of lemon on the bread plate that represents the
bitter fate of the missing.

Salt sprinkled on the bread plate that symbolizes the tears shed by
waiting families.

An inverted glass to represent the fact that the missing and fallen
cannot part take.

A Bible represents the spiritual strength – and- faith – to sustain the

A lit candle symbolizes a light of hope that lives in the hearts to
illuminate the missing’s way home.

Special thanks given to: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Deputy Secretary; Office of Public Affairs; Printing & Graphic Arts Broadcasting Operations; Property Management Branch; United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Minority Veterans, Military District of Washington; Joint Forces Ceremonial, Color Guard, John F. Kennedy High School, Navy JROTC, Montgomery County, Maryland, to name a few. Thanks to Mamie Nickelberry, NAAV Advisor for images provided for this Memorial Day report on behalf of NAAV, Inc. and those who served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces.

C.A. Burns
CEO and Founding President
NAAV, Inc.


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