Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is encased in sacred traditions, community, and remembrance. It is a day in which we celebrate our fallen service members and honor their lives and sacrifices. On Memorial Day, we mourn the collective loss of this community.

Memorial Day 2021: May 31

This year we aim to raise awareness of the true meaning of Memorial Day and facilitate a way for the SPU community — with our friends, families, and colleagues — to honor the loss of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. The 2021 Memorial Day program will focus on the stories of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff and how the sacrifice of their peers impacted them.

Whether you are a veteran yourself, or someone in your family served, many people have a connection to someone who was killed in action (KIA) or missing in action (MIA) while serving their country, or we have a connection to a veteran who died by suicide.

This year, during May, we invite you to share videos, articles, and stories about the fallen service members who have impacted your life. Additionally, we will have a get-together where we can discuss what Memorial Day means to you, talk about healing and connect as a community on Thursday, May 27, at 10:30 a.m. 

Private Harry Osbourne Adams, died at 16 years old, April 9, 1917 in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. He was my great Uncle and 2 years underage when he enlisted in the army.

Anthony Russell

A1C Anthony Russell Air Force

My brother and best friend. He enlisted a year before 9/11 and served in the Persian Gulf. His military service did not define him...his empathetic spirit did. He lost the battle to depression and PTSD in January, 2020. He was a beautiful artist.

Howard Joseph Abbott

Howard Joseph Abbott, LT, USN 

My grandfather was lost on a submarine when USS O-9 (SS 70) sank during a test dive approximately 15 miles off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on June 20, 1941. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he was the commanding officer.

Derek Argel

Promoted to Captain earlier in the day, Derek Argel perished on 30 May 2005 in the crash of an Iraqi Air Force SL7 reconnaissance/ transport plane. USAF.

Andres Gomez

Private Andrés Gomez, U.S. Army, Killed in Action November 22, 1944. Andrés survived D-Day and numerous battles during the liberation of France. After recovering from wounds received during the Allied drive to Paris, Andrés volunteered to rejoin his unit as they began fighting into Nazi Germany. He was killed the day before Thanksgiving Day during the final campaign to defeat Nazi forces west of the Rhine River. He was my mother’s father, and his sacrifice dramatically affected her childhood and has continued to play prominently in our family history. His name carries on in my son, Elliott Andrés, age 16.

Soon after his 21st birthday in 2005, Lance Corporal Nicholas Bloem, USMC, was killed in action when his transport hit an IED during the Iraq War. He remains forever in the hearts of family and friends.

In loving memory of Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Gourley. Gone too soon from depression. In remembrance of the hundreds of service members who lose their lives each day to this horrible illness. ♥️ Fly high AT1.

Harley Hall

Naval pilot, Commander Harley H. Hall, shot down Jan 27, 1973, over North Vietnam. He is considered POW/MIA and the last pilot shot down before the cease fire was signed that day. He commanded the Blue Angels and was one of the groomsmen in my parents wedding party. My mother wore his MIA bracelet for years.