RICHMOND, Va. -- The Commonwealth's Memorial Day Ceremony took place on Monday, May 31, 2021, at Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Virginia.
The ceremony honored and remembered the military men and women who died in conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the Global War on Terrorism.
"It is important to acknowledge the pain and sacrifice that the families and friends of lost service members endure," Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said in a pre-recorded message that kicked off the ceremony. "Every year. their loved ones of fallen service members are bound together by loss and part of our duty and honor them is reaching out to their family and friends. The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to honor our veterans, preserve our history, educate our youth, and inspire patriotism in all."
Since the last Memorial Day ceremony, the names of four Virginians have been added to the Shrine of Memory.
"Each year on Memorial Day, we take a moment to honor those Virginians whose names were added to the Shrine of Memory in the past year," Virginia War Memorial Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle said. "As often is the case, the names are not the most recent losses to war, but identities that were brought to our attention by family or friends during the year and that we were able to verify and finally add to their rightful place of remembrance. These names are here now permanently. They will endure long after we are gone. These names will remain."
Those added to the Shrine of Memory include:
Richard J., Harris, of Henrico, who was killed in action during the Korean War.
Ben Maxwell, of Appomattox, killed in the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut.
Donald May, of Richmond, killed in action in Iraq in 2003.
Humayun Khan, of Bristow, killed in action in Iraq in 2004.
"Let's spend this Memorial Day, and every day, remembering those that gave up their life and freedom so that we may enjoy ours," Mountcastle said at the conclusion of the ceremony. "This Memorial belongs to all of us. And we all share in its mission. Before you leave today, if anything, visit the shrine, look upon these names, get to know them, and never forget."