Hundreds gather at Memphis cemetery to honor veterans on Memorial Day

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Words reverberated into the sky above Memorial Park Monday morning.

Those words were from Dr. C. Gregory Darden.

“So there as I stood on the eastern shore of Pearl Harbor with my family, I could see clearly in my mind’s eye the airplanes of the Imperial Japanese Navy,” Darden said as he spoke to the crowd hanging onto his speech.

Darden, now a pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Germantown, reminisced on this day of the memory of Pearl Harbor, what he saw the day he visited when he was a naval officer.

Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.

Trending stories:

“There standing over the shore of Pearl Harbor and looking over it,” said Darden to FOX13, “it was as if I was there and I could see everything that was going on, see the life that was being lost that day.”

But Darden, a former commander with the U.S. Navy Reserve, remembered now just the lives lost at Pearl Harbor.

“I’m moved when I go through Memorial Park Cemetery and I see on a grave marker ‘World War I’, ‘World War II’, ‘Korea’, ‘Vietnam’,” said Darden.

Listening in the crowd to Darden’s speech was James Barnes.

Barnes, on Memorial Day, remembered his own family's service, like Robert Foreman Jr., who served in Vietnam with the ultimate sacrifice.

“I just remember my mother speaking very, very fondly of him,” Barnes said. “He was a great leader for our family. We remember him fondly.”

Two servicemembers whom lost their lives in World War II were honored in a booklet Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery handed out at the service.

The remains of Second Lieutenant Martin F. O’Callaghan and Fireman 1st Class Millard C. Pace were identified and returned to Memphis for a burial with full military honor in 2018.