On Wednesday, May 30, the residents of Our Lady of Fatima Senior Housing Communities gathered for a moving celebration of Memorial Day. Dee Anderson, who serves as Vice President of the Fatima II Resident Association, put together a full program that included patriotic readings, the Presentation of the Colors, a sing-along of “God Bless America” and other patriotic hymns, a rousing dance performance and a cook-out for residents, staff, and guests.
In her remarks, Dee gave a history of Memorial Day observances, pointing out that the day isn’t about the start of summer, big sales or opening pools for the season; rather, she said, it’s about remembering and honoring the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for American freedom.
Larry Pokrywka, President of the Fatima II Resident Association, acted as emcee for the program. Fatima I resident, Norman Sporney, and Housing Manager, Edris Segree, each recited poems, and Lois Gulley (President of the Fatima I Resident Association) read the names of relatives and friends of residents who lost their lives in World War II, Vietnam and other conflicts. Redemptorist Father Arthur Gildea, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Church, presented the prayer, and the observance ended with the somber playing of “Taps” by Rev. James Thomas, chaplain for American Legion Post #38 in Dundalk.
The day was enhanced by the presence of a number of students from nearby Patterson High School. Members of the Patterson HS Junior ROTC Color Guard presented the American and Maryland flags, the Patterson HS Dance Troop provided an energetic performance and student, Denesha Dudley, read an essay on the true meaning of Memorial Day. Other guests included Patterson HS Principal, Vince Benton, and Tech. Sgt. Paul Smith of the Patterson Air Force Junior ROTC.
Special thanks go out to Fatima staff members Bill Bryan, Will Robinson, Travis Manuel, Lateirra Carter and Jill Wagner for their help organizing, setting up, cooking and serving!