American Legion William P. Jordan Post 500 held their 2019 Memorial Day Commemoration Program last Monday at the Laurel Grove South Cemetery. The service was dedicated in loving memory of CWO-4 David F. Richards. Lieutenant General Walter E. Gaskin was the guest speaker. The Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion William P. Jordan Post 500 was in attendance.
Chief Warrant Officer 4, David Forest Richards, Jr. was a man of unwavering commitment to God, his family, his country and his community. He lived his life with integrity and humility. He walked with God and lived a life of honor, love and respect with no regrets. On February 5th, surrounded by his children, he crossed over the Jordan and was granted his wings. He was married to the late Swannie M. Richards for 59 years. They had (3) daughters; (2 preceded him in death) and (1) son, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Lieutenant General Walter E. Gaskin, (Ret.) addressed the audience honoring the men and women whose shoulders he stands on. “They (young people) need to know the environment that airmen and sailors joined the military to serve their country.” said Gaskin. “There were those that I am especially kin to, the Montford Point Marines, who had to train 192 miles from Paris Island. Lt. John White, an original Montford Marine, had to leave Savannah to go to North Carolina, instead of just across the bridge to Paris Island.” Gaskin continued,
“They need to know that bigotry and discrimination can rob them of their dreams if they don’t take advantage of opportunity. Too many of our youth come into the service as well as society blindsided by racial and social realities because they don’t know their history. We need to teach them about the heroes of the civil rights awakening inspired by these military pioneers who saw that it was good for them to have the right for the right to fight”. Gaskin concluded his address with a “Thank You” to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
The traditional laying of the wreath by Commander G. John Parker and Ladies Auxiliary President Sabrina Putney followed the speaker. A Twenty-One Gun Salute, followed by TAPS was delivered from the HHB Divarty – U.S. Army. Commander G. John Parker gave final remarks. Chaplain James Putney offered the closing prayer.
Memorial Day commemorations also took place in Bonaventure Cemetery with American Legion George K. Gannam Post 184 who hosted the repast.