The Oklahoma Veterans Center, Ardmore Division, hosted a Memorial Day ceremony Monday that honored military veterans for their service and sacrifices.


The Oklahoma Veterans Center, Ardmore Division, hosted a Memorial Day ceremony Monday that honored military veterans for their service and sacrifices.

There is typically a guest speaker at the annual event, but this year the veterans center felt it was an appropriate time to read more than 300 names in remembrance of veterans who have passed away in the past year at the veterans center, as well as fallen soldiers with a home record in Carter County, said Gary Robertson, administrator of the veterans center.

“We hold ceremonies every year on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, to remember those that have passed on and those that have given the ultimate sacrifice,” Robertson said.

About 200 people attended the ceremony, most of whom were veterans. Tom Tipps, a former Oklahoma state senator and a veteran U.S. Army Air Corps P-38 fighter pilot, said the yearly ceremony is important, because it gives Americans a chance to remember those who sacrificed their lives for others.

“It gives me a time to pay my respects, and to remember all the great soldiers that gave their lives for freedom some 63 years ago,” Tipps said.

The ceremony began with patriotic music played by the Ardmore High School band, but the melodies were soon broken by the sound of about 50 rumbling motorcycles.

The national motorcylce group known as the Patriot Guard Riders paraded their patriotic-themed motorcycles through the veterans center grounds and stood at attention with American flags waving during the ceremony.

The ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps,” which audibly conveyed the somber mood and meaning of the Memorial Day ceremony.

The veterans center will hold another memorial service for fallen soldiers and deceased veterans on Veterans Day in November.