Veterans Center resumes Memorial Day ceremony

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite
SSG Benjamin Miller and SPC Dennis Gay, U.S. Army Reserve 401st Engineer Company from Mustang, retire the colors after a Memorial Day ceremony Friday, May 28, 2021.

After the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to Memorial Day events last year, veterans and neighbors returned to the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Ardmore on Friday to resume the annual ceremony.

"After last year and COVID and not being here, this was really needed," said Wayne Lawson, senior pastor for First Baptist Church Northeast. "We thank God He held back the rain and it's good to see the community support."

SSG Wayne Lawson, U.S. Army, retired, gives the benediction at a Memorial Day ceremony Friday, May 28, 2021.

Lawson, a retired staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, gave the invocation and benediction during the Friday ceremony and said this year's event was special because of the impact COVID-19 has taken on aging military veterans.

Residents and staff of the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Ardmore listen to retired NOAA Adm. Wesley Hull during a Memorial Day ceremony Friday, May 28, 2021.

"When the names were read of those who departed since last time we met, the list was so long. It was humbling and brought tears to my eyes," he said.

Attendees of the Memorial Day ceremony Friday, May 28, 2021, bow their heads in prayer at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Ardmore.

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