One Life - One Flag - One Voice
Memorial Day 2019 marked a very important historic milestone. Together with hundreds of friends, family, and brother masons, we unveiled “The Battle Within,” a simple monument to help to capture the public's attention, underscore the veteran communities commitment to easing the suffering, and honor our heroes for their service, regardless of where they died.
Alongside the new sculpture, we dedicated a Masonic cornerstone which signifies a beginning, a grand aspiration, the start of a great project – the work of years, or perhaps even a lifetime.
There is so much more to a cornerstone than a block at the corner of a building! The cornerstone we dedicated for the Battle Within Memorial is the beginning of a Great Work, not merely on a structure of concrete and steel, but on the cause and spirit that structure represents. We formally dedicated it as a promise to God that we shall not waiver from the cause before us.
In this case, we’re actually rebuilding something started in 1868 following the civil war; Decoration Day, or for all you born after 1970 - Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a time for remembering and honoring the military personnel who died while serving in the Armed Forces.
Over the years, Memorial Day has lost much of its intended focus, becoming merely the Monday of a three-day holiday, an excuse for retail sales, and celebrating in hometown parades.
From this time forward, we are taking on the audacious mission of rebuilding Memorial Day by creating the infrastructure for a solemn morning of honor, retrospection, and celebrating the lives of our fallen. We now have a unique opportunity and a platform to loudly proclaim there is nothing wrong with a sale or a parade – that is after we’ve had a chance to properly honor the deaths of our fallen.
This Memorial Day, May 31, 2021, The Battle Within Foundation and the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Serviceman’s Park will be hosting a non-denominational memorial service. We will be assembling at 9:00 AM in the shadow of the USS Sullivans, Croaker, and Little Rock. Under the theme “One Life-One Flag”, the park’s entire Heroes’ Walk will be blanketed with 7500 small American flags to represent each of those who have died since last Memorial Day.
There will also be:
• Keynote Speaker: TBA
• A narrated flag lowering and a flag folding ceremony
• A waterborne wreath-laying by the Navy/Coast Guard
• An Air Force flyover (tentative)
• Patriotic music by The Buffalo/Niagara Concert Band
• An artillery salute from the USS Little Rock
• Scheduled wreath-laying ceremonies at each monument along the Heroes Walk
• Information tables for groups that benefit the vets set up along the ship promenade in an
attempt to display fewer flags next year
This will be an opportunity for all of WNY with one, clear voice proclaim that we remember and honor our heroes who gave the last full measure of themselves to secure our liberty.