In­dian Head re­mem­bers the fallen, hon­ors vet­eran mother

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

This week, Charles County res­i­dents re­flected on the true mean­ing of Memo­rial Day, specif­i­cally the fallen Amer­i­can pa­tri­ots who gave their lives dur­ing their ser­vice to the coun­try.

On May 31, the Town of In­dian Head took time to rec­og­nize the fallen sol­diers dur­ing the town’s Memo­rial Day Cer­e­mony at the Vil­lage Green Pav­il­ion and demon­strated how the legacy of ser­vice men and women con­tin­ues to live.

“Some­times Memo­rial Day gets clouded by other things, the cook­outs and three-day week­ends but its truly about those that paid the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice and gave their lives for all of the free­doms that we get to en­joy ev­ery day,” Mayor Bran­don Paulin said.

The Memo­rial Day Cer­e­mony in­cluded a pre­sen­ta­tion of colors by the Chem­i­cal Bi­o­log­i­cal In­ci­dent Re­sponse Force Color Guard from the In­dian Head

Naval Sur­face War­fare Cen­ter, U.S. Marine Corps, the Pledge of Al­le­giance and Na­tional An­them per­formed by In­dian Head Ele­men­tary School cho­rus, recog­ni­tion of Viet­nam War Gold Star Mother Ma­bel Painter, and a brief speech from In­dian Head Mayor Bran­don Paulin and guest speaker Col. Michael A. Carter of the chem­i­cal bi­o­log­i­cal in­ci­dent re­sponse force.

“It’s an honor to re­ceive the Gold Star but its also a sad sit­u­a­tion,” said Painter, 84. “My son, Robert A. Painter Jr., 20, died 46 years ago so it’s for­ever there in my heart and mem­ory. It was a great feel­ing to know that these peo­ple want to do this cer­e­mony for vet­er­ans who have passed away and we hope it con­tin­ues.”

Painter has been an In­dian Head res­i­dent for 50 years and at­tended the cer­e­mony with sev­eral of her fam­ily mem­bers in­clud­ing her daugh­ter Doris Ryce.

James W. Al­ston, 58, re­tired gun­nery sergeant of the U.S. Marine Corps, said he was truly hon­ored to es­cort Painter to the front to re­ceive her Gold Star.

“Its a priv­i­lege and an honor to be here and es­cort Mrs. Painter be­cause I could have been one of those who didn’t make it back home,” Al­ston said. “By the grace of God I am here to­day and this means the world to me. I have no re­grets join­ing the Marine Corps and I ad­vise oth­ers, don’t take any­thing for granted. We have so much to be thank­ful for — free­dom of speech, free­dom to vote, things that oth­ers who are less for­tu­nate don’t have.”

Al­ston has been liv­ing in In­dian Head for 11 years and is a mem­ber of Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 233.

Carter con­grat­u­lated all of the Gold Star fam­ily mem­bers and vet­er­ans for their con­tin­ued ser­vice to the na­tion, be­fore he gave his own per­spec­tive of the orig­i­nal mean­ing of Memo­rial Day dur­ing his speech.

“All gave some, but some gave all,” Carter said. “Let us recom­mit our re­solve to lead bet­ter lives and to serve our fel­low coun­try­men to pre­serve for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to come. Let us re­mem­ber their sac­ri­fices, what they stood for, their self­less ser­vice, and the peo­ple who have ex­pe­ri­enced los­ing a dear friend and pre­cious fam­ily mem­bers of those who now lie in eter­nal glory. We re­mem­ber those brave souls who were caught in the gap of vic­tory and de­feat but fought to pro­tect our way of life.”

Vice Mayor Ron Si­toula said he was glad to hear Carter’s words of re­mem­brance, “free­dom comes at a cost,” be­cause Amer­i­can blood has been sac­ri­ficed all across the world.

“It’s be­cause of their sac­ri­fices not only here at home but also abroad, that the Amer­i­can flag stands tall, re­spected and peo­ple still look to Amer­ica as the bea­con of free­dom,” Si­toula said. “It is im­por­tant that we as a town cel­e­brate their lives and how our lives can con­tinue to grow and cher­ish the free­dom that we have.”

Coun­cil­man Cur­tis Smith is also a mil­i­tary vet­eran and said that the cer­e­mony sym­bol­izes how im­por­tant the mil­i­tary base com­mu­nity is to the town’s res­i­dents. The Vil­lage Green, lo­cated just out­side of the Vil­lage Green Pav­il­ion, is home to a memo­rial sign that the coun­cil plans to have re­stored.

“It is im­por­tant that we re­store it and bring back the lus­ter of it be­cause its worn, its been ne­glected and we’re go­ing to bring it back to show its con­tin­ued im­por­tance to the town,” Smith said.

On May 31, Viet­nam War Gold Star Mother, Ma­bel Painter, 84, is es­corted by James W. Al­ston, 58, a re­tired gun­nery sergeant of the United States Marine Corps, for her to be rec­og­nized as the Gold Star Mother of In­dian Head at the Memo­rial Day Cer­e­mony at the In­dian Head Vil­lage Green Pav­il­ion.

In­dian Head Mayor Bran­don Paulin, left, guest speaker Col. Michael A. Carter, Se­nior Master Sgt. Louis Knight and Staff Sgt. Jerome A Stoudamire stand at the in­tro­duc­tion of the Memo­rial Day Cer­e­mony in In­dian Head on Tues­day.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

Mayor Bran­don Paulin speaks Tues­day at the Memo­rial Day Cer­e­mony at In­dian Head Vil­lage Green Pav­il­ion.

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