Memorial Day CEREMONY 2022
CLICK HERE to watch a recorded version of the 2022 Memorial Day Ceremony
Monday, May 30, 2022
Church of the Resurrection of the Lord
Emmaus Catholic Parish
1718 Lohmans Crossing Road
Lakeway, TX 78734
Presentation of the Colors: Lake Travis Honor Guard (Lake Travis Fire Rescue)
Pledge of Allegiance: Alice Scarbrough, Regent with Lohmann's Ford Chapter of the NSDAR
Special Music 'National Anthem': Lakeway Sing Along
Invocation: Very Rev. David M. Liebham, Emmaus Catholic Parish
Welcome: Mayor Tom Kilgore
Special Guest Speaker: Brig Gen Richard T. Drury, USAF (Ret)
Presentation of the Memorial Wreath: Mrs. Jennavieve Rasmussen, Gold Star Family & Alice Scarbrough, Regent with Lohmann's Ford Chapter of the NSDAR
Special Music 'God Bless The USA': Lakeway Sing Along
TAPS: Kate Calder, Lake Travis High School
Retire the Colors: Lake Travis Honor Guard (Lake Travis Fire Rescue)
Benediction: Sr. Pastor Larry Coulter, Lakeway Church
Special Music 'God Bless America': Lakeway Sing Along
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER
Brigadier General Richard T. Drury, USAF (Ret)
Prior to his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, General Drury graduated from the high school division of the New Mexico Military Institute in 1944.
General Drury was commissioned upon graduation from the United States Military Academy directly into the Air Force as a second lieutenant. He entered pilot training in Texas in June 1950. General Drury then served as a pilot, operations officer and safety officer at various bases in France, Korea and Texas. While in Korea, he completed 20 combat missions with a total of 97 combat hours in B-26s. He was also trained as an observer-bombardier and further assigned to the 342nd Bombardment Squadron at Biggs Air Force Base and flew the B-47 as an aircraft commander. In 1959, he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving his master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics. He then served as an instructor and associate professor in the Department of Mechanics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. After qualifying as a paratrooper at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1964, he proceeded to the Armed Forces Staff College as a student officer.
General Drury served in support of the Vietnam War from May 1965 to July 1969, completing 315 combat missions in the C-130A from air bases in Japan and Vietnam. He also served as the Senior Duty Officer, then Assistant Director of Operations and Director of Operations at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam in January of 1969.
General Drury returned to the United States in August of 1969 to attend the War College, and upon graduation moved to numerous assignments on staff and in command positions within the Air Force. He was Chief of the Command Plans Branch in the Directorate of Plans at Headquarters, United States Air Force, Commander of the 516th Tactical Airlift Wing, and Commander of the 314th Tactical Airlift Wing. In 1973, General Drury assumed duties as Director of International Staff, Inter-American Defense Board. He became Vice Commander of the 22nd Air Force, Military Airlift Command in 1974. In October of 1977, he became Commander of U.S. Forces, Azores, and Commander of the 1605th Air Base Wing, Lajes Field, Azores in 1980.
General Drury's family moved to the Lakeway area in 1981. He officially retired from active duty on January 1, 1982. That same year, he became Senior Lecturer and Associate Chairman for the Department of Aerospace Engineering with UT Austin, where he served until 1994. In 2014, General Drury was inducted into the New Mexico Military Institute Hall of Fame for achieving Flag Officer Rank. General Drury and his family still reside at the same home they moved to in Lakeway nearly 40 years ago.
Speech by Brig. Gen. Richard T. Drury, USAF (Ret.) (May 30, 2022):
"Welcome to the 51st official observation of Memorial Day, or the 134th observation of its beginning as Decoration Day.
Special thanks to the Daughters of the American Revolution, who presented to you your individual red poppy. Which brings up in my memory-bank the well-known World War I poem by John McCrae:
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly…
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
When you get home, look up the full text- you will never forget it.
This holiday long weekend is a study in contrasts. I can visualize family picnics on the beaches in the gulf, with kids playing and having a glorious good time. And then I switch over to the somber notes of Memorial Day, in which we honor our fallen heroes. Most of you, if you are familiar with your family tree, will find the names of relatives who gave their lives defending our freedoms. For me, the Civil War becomes very personal, in that on my father’s side, Brigadier Stephen Weed was killed on Little Round Top at Gettysburg by a Confederate sniper’s bullet; and on my mother’s side Confederate Colonel Richard Taylor died in a battle southeast of Richmond. And my wife Marie has an uncle who died and is buried in the British cemetery in Sicily, and another uncle who died and is buried at the British cemetery in Normandy. Honoring those who have died in the service of their country is a time-honored tradition of our country reflected in the world-wide burial grounds of American soldiers killed in combat. From the Punchbowl in Hawaii to the American cemeteries in Normandy, The Philippines, Panama, Italy, Tunisia, Mexico, Holland, The United Kingdom, Belgium and to the American cemetery in Luxemburg, where George Patton lies at rest with the remains of his troops killed in action- all equal in death.
So Memorial Day for us is a moment of reflection, an acknowledgement of the true costs of conflicts and wars. Observed originally as Decoration Day, this day of remembrance was officially proclaimed as Memorial Day in 1868 by General John Logan National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was first observed on 30 May 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Today at Arlington the 3rd United States I Infantry has placed small American flags at each of the more than 400,000 gravestones. So who are these heroes, for every individual that died in the service of his country is a hero. One example: when I first moved to Lakeway in late 1981, living here was Colonel Roy Duran, survivor of the Bataan Death March and a Japanese POW camp. And in the Texas State Cemetery here in Austin lie James Adams from Ireland, a Private in the Confederate Infantry, and Augustus Buchel, First Texas Cavalry, killed at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana in April 1864. These men, together with hundreds of thousands of fellow soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen, answered the call to duty to defend a cause, whether drafted or serving as a volunteer in today’s military. These individuals are owed our heartfelt thanks. The decision to take our country to war is clearly a political one. While we may vigorously disagree with that decision, we still march to the sound of a distant drum, and do our best in the service of our country, entrusting our president and our generals and admirals to make the right decisions, to set clear objectives, and to provide the resources and strategy to win. In an all-volunteer military, the country too often does not appreciate the sacrifice.
Our military is making on their behalf. It is the sacred mission of our political leadership to ensure that every American understands and supports the inevitable cost in blood and treasure of any decision to commit our armed forces to combat. We live in a very dangerous and disordered world, where the potential for mass destruction and death is nearly unlimited. The spread of nuclear and chemical weapons to unstable countries, who might well use them against us or our allies, is a real threat that must be dealt with. The consequences of failing to address these threats can make 9/11 pale in comparison. Bearing that in mind, two remarks by Albert Einstein are relevant:
“So long as there are men there will be wars.”
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Think about that. So thank you all for being here on this special day of remembrance and appreciation for those who have gone before. May God rest their souls."