CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Dozens of veterans and hospital staff members gathered Friday at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Medical Center for a Memorial Day event.
Congressman Joe Cunningham spoke at the event and U.S. Navy veteran Rear Admiral James Flatley III gave the keynote speech. Flatley was the CEO of the Patriots Point Development Authority and served for 31 years as a Navy fighter pilot, test pilot and commander.
In addition to the speeches, veterans performed the missing man table ceremony.
The table and its contents represent service members missing in action. For example, the table is round to show everlasting concern, the rose represents the lives of Americans, the lighted candle reflects hope for their return, a slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate and a pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families.
Cunningham said he was honored to take part in the ceremony.
“It’s just a matter of remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can go about our days, enjoy our liberties and our freedoms as Americans," he said. “This is the greatest country on Earth and I’ve got the honor of serving in Congress and serving on the Veterans Affairs Committee.”
You can read more about Cunningham’s work on the committee by clicking: here.