U.S. Embassy Hosts First Memorial Day Ceremony

PARAMARIBO – The U.S. Embassy will be hosting a Memorial Day ceremony on Independence Square on Saturday, 27 May at 9:00 am.  Memorial Day is an annual day of remembrance in the United States to honor all those who have died in military service to the country during peace and war.

Between 1941 and 1947, thousands of American troops served in Suriname, protecting its population and resources that were indispensable for the allied war effort. During this period, scores of U.S. servicemen died in Suriname in the course of their duties. The Embassy wishes to honor these servicemen and those Surinamers who worked alongside them.

Speakers at this event will include U.S. Ambassador to Paramaribo Robert J. Faucher, Director Joint Staff for the South Dakota National Guard Deborah Bartunek and the Suriname Minister of Foreign Affairs Albert Ramdin.  As part of the event, a military guard will replace the existing American flag at Independence Square in a formal decommissioning ceremony.

Memorial Day, initially referred to as Decoration Day, is now designated as an annual day of remembrance to honor all those who have died in service to the United States during peace and war.  It was first observed by many communities after the Civil War, when the nation suffered more than 620,000 military deaths, roughly two percent of the total population at the time. John A. Logan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of Republic, chose May 30, 1868, as a day to decorate the graves of Union troops across the nation. Today Memorial Day is officially celebrated in the United States on the last Monday of every May.

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