CM Charles Allen Headlines Veterans Day Ceremony in Folger Park – Photo Essay

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (click to enlarge)

Brigadier General John G. Baker, USMC

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen & Brig. Gen. John G. Baker Headline Veterans Day Celebration

by Larry Janezich

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen commemorated Veterans Day and honored the military veterans who have served our county today, in a ceremony hosted by American Legion Post 8 at 3rd and D Streets, SE.  He told the crowd of 200 in Folger Park that he has reflected what Veterans Day means in his own life.  He recalled that during a recent visit to relatives in Alabama, discussion turned to ancestors who had fought on both sides in the American Civil War.  He cited his great, great, great, great grandfather William Percy Shaw from Pennsylvania, who had fought for the Union, been captured, and survived the Confederate’s Libby Prison and then a prison in Mobile, Alabama.  The lessons he learned from Shaw, passed down through generations, include resilience, service, and sacrifice.  Allen remains committed to providing assistance to veterans and referred to his efforts to provide court services and housing in the District.

Brigadier General John G. Baker, USMC, delivered the Veterans Day Address.  Baker is Chief Defense Counsel for the DOD office which supervises military and civilian defense attorneys for Guantanamo Bay detention camp prisoners.  He was introduced by Master of Ceremonies, Judge Advocate David Sheldon, as an officer who had “demonstrated moral courage that few have ever been asked to give.”  Baker stood for the rule of law when it was discovered that the US government had compromised the lawyer client privilege of detainees and their defense attorneys, was held in contempt and briefly incarcerated before having his contempt conviction overturned in federal court.

Baker told the crowd that Veterans Day is a time for celebration and reflection: “Security doesn’t just happen – it requires effort, sacrifice, courage and commitment.  The nation owes a debt of gratitude to veterans,” and cited in particular legal clinics, help in attaining better medical care, employment, suicide prevention, and housing:  “We need to serve them as they served us.”


Jason Seacrest, Commander, Kenneth H. Nash Post 8. The post is across the street from Folger Park at 3rd and D Streets, SE. He reminded that the American Legion is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and for 100 years the Legion has been in a position to make sure promises to veterans are kept.


Karlene Bowman, President, American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 8, noted that this year, the formerly all female organization has admitted its first male spouse. She said, “Our obligation is to perpetuate goodness and kindness in our community and challenged those present to ask themselves “what you can do,” quoting John F. Kennedy: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”


The commemorative wreath


Alexandra Dixon – 15-year-old Prince George’s community college student, rendered an a capella version of America the Beautiful.


Veterans in the crowd stand as the USMC Brass Quintet plays their respective services anthems


Special guests included: Frederick W. Ambush, Sgt., United States Army. Col. Ned Burr, U.S. Army (retired). Erman T. Clay, Command Sergeant Major, DC National Guard (retired). Above is a photo of Ambush, 98, who served in the U.S. Calvary from 1941 – 1948. He was among the Buffalo Soldiers stationed at Ft. Myer, Virginia.







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3 responses to “CM Charles Allen Headlines Veterans Day Ceremony in Folger Park – Photo Essay

  1. Liz

    Sun was shining, perfect day to observe this fine tradition.

  2. Maggie Hall

    What a splendid piece of writing – captured the spirit of this wonderful, in the heart of our community, ceremony. Also, thanks to Post 8 for staging it.

  3. Barbara rich

    Agree. Wonderful report, Larry. Both commentary and photos are terrific, as usual. Support for the Hill’s veterans and this community event is appreciated. Thank from Barbara Rich