Memorial Day Ceremony Focuses On Women Veterans

Members of the American Legion Honor Guard prepare to fire a salute after the Post Everlasting. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Members of the American Legion Honor Guard prepare to fire a salute after the Post Everlasting. (Photo by Pat Blair)

The focus of this year's Memorial Day ceremonies was on women veterans.

Retired Naval Lt. Commander Susan Wells, who was this year's Officer of the Day, said there are 1.4 million service people in all branches of the military today, and 214,000 of them are women. She said there are over 22 million veterans, and about 2 million of those are women.

On another occasion, Wells said, in November 1776, a woman whose husband had been mortally wounded took up the rammer and helped load the cannon at the Battle of Fort Washington. Other women, she said, disguised themselves as men and fought for their country, including later during the Civil War.

In addition to Wells, the ceremonies at the Courthouse, which followed the annual Memorial Day parade on Main Street, included the placing of wreathes in commemoration of the nation's wars and the service organizations that have aided and supported veterans.

The ceremonies at the Courthouse were followed by Post Everlasting at Sheridan's municipal cemetery, when slips of paper are burned in memory of all veterans who have died during the past year.

Wells was also speaker at that event, and read the veterans' names. She said the fire has no special significance, but fire is considered the most respectful and dignified way to dispose of military records. The Post Everlasting ended with the firing of rifles by the American Legion Honor Guard and the playing of “Taps.”

Wells told those at the Courthouse and cemetery ceremonies to find a veteran, especially veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, listen to their stories and write those stories down.

View more photos below.

Pearl Harbor survivors led the Memorial Day parade. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Pearl Harbor survivors led the Memorial Day parade. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Sheridan's Patchwork Singers performed a medley of patriotic songs during Memorial Day ceremonies. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Sheridan's Patchwork Singers performed a medley of patriotic songs during Memorial Day ceremonies. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Members of Sheridan's Civil Air Patrol place wreaths on the Courthouse lawn. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Members of Sheridan's Civil Air Patrol place wreaths on the Courthouse lawn. (Photo by Pat Blair)
The Sheridan Honor Guard conducts Post Everlasting ceremonies. (Photo by Pat Blair)
The Sheridan Honor Guard conducts Post Everlasting ceremonies. (Photo by Pat Blair)
SheridanWyoming.com

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