Skip to content

GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

Fort Devens Memorial Day ceremony honors those who paid ‘ultimate price’

U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Saluting during the playing of the national anthem is WWII veteran Joe Landry from Shirley. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Saluting during the playing of the national anthem is WWII veteran Joe Landry from Shirley. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

DEVENS — Established in 1868, Memorial Day has become a fixture of the American calendar.

Meant to honor and remember military personnel that lost their lives in service to the United States of America, the day has evolved in the 154 years since its inception. Many people celebrate the occasion at a parade or a barbecue with family and friends.

But, at Fort Devens’ annual Memorial Day service, those in attendance were reminded of what the holiday is truly about.

As sunshine and clear skies graced the Fort Devens Post Cemetery on the morning of Thursday, May 26, the Fort Devens Command Team, former members of the Devens garrison and other distinguished guests honored and remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of freedom.

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Placing a wreath during the ceremony were Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Trent Colestock and Command Sgt. Maj. Jamie Rogers. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Sgt Zachary Grady with the 215 Army Band plays taps at the ceremony. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Addressing the crowd is Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Trent Colestock. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. State Police Lt. Reid Bagley salutes during the playing of the national anthem at the ceremony. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Saluting during the playing of the national anthem is WWII veteran Joe Landry from Shirley. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

of

Expand

After the national anthem, Army Chaplain Rev. Andrzej Tenus opened the event with an invocation prayer. Later, Devens Commander Lt. Col. Trent Colestock spoke before retired Chief Warrant Officer Walter “Chip” Mann gave the keynote address.

“We’re here to remember the nearly one and a half million men and women who have been killed in conflict since the Revolutionary War,” Mann said. “They were defending our way of life, giving us the freedom to stand here today.”

A wreath-laying ceremony followed, led by Colestock and Command Sgt. Maj. Jamie Rogers. The memorial wreath was placed before a half-staff American flag and flags for each of the armed services.

Throughout the ceremony, the importance of Memorial Day — and the weight of the sacrifice given by those lost, whether during peacetime or in war — was made abundantly clear.

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Sitting on the wall in the cemetery is Imelda Fisher. She was spending some time with her husband Stg Major Mark Fisher whose grave sits just in front of her. he was in the Army for 23 years and they were married for 31 years. She said that on Monday she will bring her grandchildren to come say “hi” to their grandfather. Something she likes to do every Memorial Day. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Saluting during the playing of the national anthem is Army National Guard veteran Joe Young. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Saluting during the ceremony is Army Chaplin Rev. Andrzej Andrew Tenus with the Polish National Catholic Church. Standing in front of him is Fitchburg City Council member Sam Squailia. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Saluting during the ceremony during the playing of taps were members of the Devens Fire Department. From left is firefighter Ammie Boucher, Jazmin Murillo, Mark Boucher and Chief Tim Kelly. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Sitting on the wall in the cemetery is Imelda Fisher. She was spending some time with her husband Stg Major Mark Fisher whose grave sits just in front of her. he was in the Army for 23 years and they were married for 31 years. She said that on Monday she will bring her grandchildren to come say “hi” to their grandfather. Something she likes to do every Memorial Day. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

of

Expand

“It’s an honor and a privilege to participate in any ceremony recognizing our fallen comrades,” Rogers said. “It’s hard not to get caught up in my thoughts and the emotion of it all.”

“We should live a life worth their sacrifice — and I think about that every day. They never got the opportunity to do this or that and, even if you’re having a bad day, you just need to get out there and enjoy life for them,” she said.

Similar to Rogers, Mann stressed that Memorial Day was more than a “three-day weekend party” as he asked those in attendance to honor those who paid “the ultimate price.”

“Taking advantage of these freedoms is how we can honor them … of course, we should enjoy (Memorial Day celebrations), that’s what they sacrificed for. But I ask everyone here to take a pause this weekend, raise a glass and toast those we are here honoring today.”

Colestock said he was “grateful” to be a part of the ceremony and with those in attendance and called it “our responsibility as citizens to remember the nation’s fallen, men and women.”

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Addresses the crowd at the ceremony is Chief Warren Officer Walter Mann. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. addresses the crowd at the ceremony is Chief Warren Officer Walter Mann. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Many listen to the speakers during the ceremony. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Addresses the crowd at the ceremony is Chief Warren Officer Walter Mann. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Placing a wreath during the ceremony were Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Trent Colestock and Command Sgt. Maj. Jamie Rogers. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

  • U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial...

    U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens Command Team held a Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to remember and honor the brave men and women that fought for our country. The ceremony was held at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery. Army Chaplin Rev. Andrzej Andrew Tenus, with the Polish National Catholic Church, addresses the crowd at the ceremony. (John Love/Sentinel & Enterprise)

of

Expand

“We shall never forget the men and women who know, all too much, the cost of our freedom,” Colestock said. He also called their service to the United States “the greatest gift of all.”

Colestock called Memorial Day a “special day for many” and said, “the least we can do is remember their bravery and sacrifice while we enjoy our freedoms.”

As the ceremony drew to a close, Tenus’ benediction followed the playing of taps — the iconic bugle call played during military ceremonies and funerals — and a moment of silence.

Joseph Cunningham, who served as narrator, then ended the ceremony and thanked those in attendance for their “attendance, participation and patriotism.”

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.