By Patrick Bray
DLIFLC Public Affairs
MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center observed Memorial Day during a brief ceremony on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey May 21.
The annual Memorial Day ceremony consists of a formation of troops in their dress uniforms representing all four service detachments, ceremonial cannon fire and the playing of taps. This year, DLIFLC honored the service, patriotism and bravery of U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Landis who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Landis, of Independence, Kentucky, was killed in action in Afghanistan in February 2014. He entered the U.S. Army in 2011 and graduated DLIFLC as an Arabic linguist before becoming a cryptologic linguist. He deployed to Afghanistan in late 2013.
Sgt. 1st Class David Lee and Staff Sgt. Frank Henegar, both from the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, served with Landis in Afghanistan and gave remarks at the ceremony.
“Lonnie, as he was known to his brothers, was a strong willed and free spirited,” said Lee. “He had a zest for life and even more for having fun.”
Following the guest speaker’s remarks, Col. Ginger Wallace, Assistant Commandant of DLIFLC, and Ben De La Selva, founder of the DLI Alumni Association, unveiled the plaque of all the institute’s fallen who lost their lives in the Global War on Terrorism with Landis’s name included.
Wallace encouraged the attendees to observe the Memorial Day holiday as a day of reflection and remembrance and not just a long weekend.
Memorial Day dates back to the end of the Civil War as towns across America honored those who died in the war. The tradition continued as America fought in other wars, and it became an official federal holiday in 1971.
In keeping with tradition and observing the holiday, the Presidio of Monterey flew the garrison flag for the ceremony. Memorial Day is an occasion for flying the 20-foot by 38-foot garrison flag on U.S. Army installations, which is larger than the 8-foot by 11-foot post flag displayed daily. The garrison flag is symbolic of the flag flown over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 and inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the words “our flag was still there” in what is now the U.S. national anthem.
Posted Date: 22 May 2015