ELIZABETHTOWN — As part of Military Appreciation Month, the Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy held a promotion ceremony and dedicated a memorial at the school to area fallen soldiers on Friday.
The afternoon began under warm and sunny skies on the school’s parade grounds with a review of the cadets and the promotion ceremony. Temperatures were soaring into the 90s Friday, but that did not dampen the spirits of those in attendance to see the promotions awarded.
Commandant of Cadets Carl Loyd emceed the promotion ceremony while Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy’s Headmaster Roland T. McKoy and David Clark reviewed the cadets.
The cadets performed maneuvers and marched in formation to show off their skills and talents to the reviewing stand.
There were four sets of cadets who earned promotions. The new rankings were Cadet PV 2; Cadet Gray Board, Cadet Blue Board, and Cadet Blackboard.
Clark addressed the group briefly.
“As you stand here you are making history,” said Clark. “The Academy is making a difference … a differnece in your lives and the life of the county.”
Once the promotion ceremony was over, the group progressed from the parade grounds to the front of the school for the dedication of the fallen heroes memorial.
McKoy wlecomed the guests to the school for the memorial dedication. He reminded the guests in attendance that the fallen soldiers made it possible for everyone to be present Friday and thanked those in attendance.
Lloyd gave a brief history of the origins of Memorial Day. He noted it grew out of the Civil War and was originally called Decoration Day — and it was a day when flowers were placed on the graves of the soldiers who died in the war.
“In 1966 … Waterloo, N.Y., was the birthplace of Memorial Day,” said Lloyd.
Lloyd said the first Decoration Day was originally observed on May 5 and it was first celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery.
It is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.
The monument sits on a round brick case and consists of a bronze statute depicting pair of boots with an M-16 rifle propped against them and topped with a soldier’s helmet.