39th Annual Ecumenical Memorial Service and
13th Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony
On Sunday, 1 November 2015, the 77th Infantry Division Reserve Officers Association held its 39th Annual Ecumenical Memorial Service in the Post Chapel at Fort Totten. This Memorial Service specifically remembers Soldiers of the 77th Infantry Division and its successor units, as well as other veterans who have been long-time friends of our Association, whose passing has come to the attention of the Association during the preceding year. Since 2005, these Soldiers have specifically included members of the 307th Infantry Veterans Society. In addition, the Memorial Service honors all other members of the 77th family who have served and currently are serving their country.
We were pleased that the Memorial Service this year was attended by numerous family members and friends, some of whom traveled considerable distances, of the Soldiers being remembered, as well as by many members and other guests of our Association.
The Service began with a welcome by our President, COL Louis H. Sudholz, Jr., USA (Ret), who also introduced the other participants and read the Last Roll Call. His introductory remarks were immediately followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem by the Congregation.
The Invocation, Scripture Reading, Prayer and Benediction were offered by CH (LTC) Murray E. Stadtmauer, USAR (Ret).
Dr. Pam Phillips accompanied herself on the piano and sang Ave Maria and The Lord’s Prayer, in addition to playing a Piano Prelude and Postlude.
The Keynote Speaker was MG George E. Barker, USA (Ret), Former Commanding General, 77th Army Reserve Command, who is a long-time member and supporter of our Association. His Remarks focused on the important role of families in supporting those who serve in the Armed Forces, and the special role of the Reserves in defending our country.
Eulogies of eight departed members of the 77th family were delivered by MSG Jeffrey J. Mott, USAR, who is a Director of our Association.
In addition, eulogies of eight departed 77th Soldiers who were members of the 307th Infantry Veterans Society were delivered by COL Lawrence M. Bellman, USA (Ret), who is Vice President and a Director of our Association.
Personal remarks by other participants, and by a friend who was among the Congregation, supplemented two of the eulogies.
A Trumpeter of the 319th U.S. Army Band, SGT Joseph Young, USAR, rang a chime and played TAPS during the Last Roll Call.
Immediately following the Memorial Service in the Post Chapel, our Association held its 13th Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at the 77th Memorial Grove next to the Ernie Pyle USAR Center, Fort Totten. This Grove, which contains several memorial trees, memorial benches, and numerous memorial bricks, was established by our Association in 2002 to honor all members of the 77th. In that year, we also dedicated a polished granite monument in the Grove to six members of the 77th Regional Readiness Command who perished at the World Trade Center on 9-11-2001.
Numerous members of the Congregation from the Memorial Service attended, including LTC Edward S. Twaddell, III, USA, Commander, 1st Battalion, 307th Regiment (Fort Dix, New Jersey); and Battalion CSM Timothy J. Jackson, USA, 1st Battalion, 307th Regiment.
After Introductory Remarks by COL Sudholz, MG Barker offered Remarks regarding the significance of the Grove and the sacrifice of those six Soldiers on 9-11-2001.
Chaplain Stadtmauer offered a Prayer for Soldiers and a Prayer of Remembrance.
COL Bellman and CW4 Bernard M. Kaplan, USA (Ret) presented the Memorial Wreath.
Dr. Phillips led the attendees in singing God Bless America, and SGT Young played TAPS.
Immediately after the Wreath Laying Ceremony in the 77th Memorial Grove, an informal Reception for all participants and other attendees, with refreshments, was held in the MG John W. Kaine Memorial Hall, on the first floor of the adjacent Ernie Pyle USAR Center.