53rd Annual Memorial Day Ceremony Canceled
While the live public ceremony cannot be held, Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens has commemorated Memorial Day with a pre-recorded virtual ceremony including the placement of a memorial wreath and presentation of the colors at the Circle of the Immortals, an area dedicated in 1967 and reserved for Marylanders killed in action. The United States flag will be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon, per Memorial Day protocol.
Pre-recorded Virtual Ceremony
As we reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day, it is with deep gratitude that we honor the members of America’s Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country. While the current pandemic has prevented us from gathering together at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens this year, we ask that you take a moment to view our online commemoration.
Our sincere thanks to the following: Maryland National Guard Color Team; members of the 229th Army Band, Maryland Army National Guard; Mark Krause of the Patriot Guard Riders; Adjutant Skip Wingo of the Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. – Timonium Memorial Post 174; Retired Maryland Air National Guard First Sergeant Stephen Koester; and Bagpiper Robert McCurdy for their participation in this virtual ceremony. And, a special thanks to Staff Sgt. Paul Porter of the Maryland National Guard Public Affairs Office for the creation of this video tribute.
Memorial Day Photo Tribute
Our Memorial Day photo tribute, honors the five service members with ties to Maryland who were lost within the last 14 months. Let us please take a moment to remember the sacrifice of our valiant military service members and their families.
Lost within the last 14 months are:
Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, United States Marine Corps, age 43, died on April 8, 2019. The Staff Sergeant was one of three marines struck and killed by a roadside bomb during a convoy near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. In addition to his service as a Marine reservist, Christopher Slutman was a dedicated firefighter both in Maryland and in New York City. In 2014, he received a medal for pulling an unconscious woman from a high-rise fire in the Bronx.
First Lt. Hugh C. McDowell, United States Marine Corps, age 24, died on May 9, 2019 from injuries sustained in a training exercise when his Light Armored Vehicle rolled over at Camp Pendleton, California. Lt. McDowell was able to shout a warning as the vehicle began to flip and saved the gunner in the twin turret on his left, quickly pushing the corporal down into the safety of the heavy armor, but it was too late to save his own life. The six fellow Marines survived the accident with non-serious injuries. Lt. McDowell, a decorated platoon commander, was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Chevy Chase, MD.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, United States Navy, age 23, died December 6, 2019, one of three victims in the Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting. Ensign Watson’s heroic actions at the time of the shooting saved countless lives. Although shot multiple times, he made it outside where he was able to flag down first responders to provide a description and location of the shooter. A recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he received his commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and was training to be a Navy pilot.
Capt. Moises A. Navas, United States Marine Corps, age 34, was one of two marines killed by enemy forces during the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, March 8, 2020. They were supporting Iraqi security forces in a raid to destroy an Islamic State hideout in a mountainous area near the town of Makhmour. These deaths were the first American combat fatalities in the country in 2020. Capt. Navas, a highly decorated Marine, was a special operations officer who grew up in Germantown, MD and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2004. He supported two unit deployments to Japan before becoming a Marine Raider in 2016, where he deployed to Iraq multiple times.
Sgt. 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty, United States Army, age 44, died in Iraq on March 30, 2020 in a non-combat incident. Sgt. 1st Class Hilty, from Bowie, Maryland, was in Erbil supporting the Inherent Resolve mission. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas. Hilty joined the Army in April 1999 as a combat engineer and most recently served as a petroleum supply specialist. The highly decorated soldier was deployed to Afghanistan three times before starting his most recent deployment to Iraq in October 2019.
Note: Because Staff Sgt. Slutman and First Lt. McDowell died close to the date of last year’s Memorial Day ceremony, they were to be honored at the 2020 observance.