Leonardtown, MD- Veterans Day 2020 looked different than in the past. Due to COVID-19, many places chose to have private or not open to public ceremonies, including Leonardtown. Over the course of thirty(30) days, the Town of Leonardtown compiled video of interviews, ceremonies, Commissioner’s time, and the wreath-laying ceremony.
Maryland District 5 Representative and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer delivered the following remarks at the Leonardtown Veterans Day Parade Virtual Celebration:
“As always, I am incredibly proud to join you to honor the men and women from Southern Maryland who have worn the uniform of our country and served under our flag. This year, our celebration is a little different, as our nation confronts a challenge unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. It is a challenge that calls us to sacrifice and stand up for one another. Our veterans know a thing or two about sacrifice and having each other’s backs. The story of America’s armed forces is a tale of camaraderie, respect, and unity in the face of often-insurmountable odds.
“We are reminded of this every time we hear the names of places like Iwo Jima. This year, we mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima and the end of the Second World War. And as we remember the more-than 26,000 American soldiers, sailors, and Marines who were killed or wounded in that battle, we honor all those who served in the Second World War.
“I want to make a special mention of our Southern Maryland World War II veterans who are joining us virtually today. Please join me in thanking them not only for their service and sacrifices all those years ago but for the many ways they continued to serve and contribute to our communities in the decades since. I’ve been proud to work with them over the years and with our veterans from other conflicts, including Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, to improve the service at our VA facilities and to ensure that those who served get the recognition and benefits they are due.
“Just last month, I toured the new Community-Based Outpatient Clinic located in Charlotte Hall, which features state-of-the-art facilities to treat our local veterans and their families and reduce travel times for those seeking many medical services. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our local veterans and veteran groups to make further improvements in veterans’ care and to keep faith with those who risked so much to keep us safe and free.
“One of the iconic images of American military heroism comes from the battle of Iwo Jima. All of us know that famous photograph of six Marines raising our flag over mount Suribachi, which has become a symbol of what Americans can achieve together when united and in pursuit of common purpose.
“I have been thinking of that moment in recent days. As we come together in the aftermath of an election that focused our attention on Americans’ differences, let us return to a clear focus on what unites us. Our love of country. Our love of service. Our desire for all in our communities to have a fair shot at the American dream and to know that American justice is always blind. And our commitment to ensuring that every voice is heard in our democracy.
“May God always protect our troops and our veterans and keep them safe. And may we always stand together, pursuing life, liberty, and happiness for all our people – as one nation recognizing our common ideals and our common destiny. Thank you.”
The final product released was the The 45th (Virtual) Veterans Day Commemoration & Wreath Laying Ceremony. Thank you to all of our Veterans!
Local fire, rescue, police, car, jeep, and motorcycle clubs delighted the residents and staff of the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home with a personal Veterans Day Parade to express their thanks for their sacrifice and service. Above images courtesy of the Town of Leonardtown.