Cletis Overton (standing far right) with John Wayne (standing far left) and other cast members of the 1945 movie, “They Were Expendable.”
The many ways we’re honoring our fallen heroes this Memorial Day
Cecilia Overton shows a photograph of her father, Cletis Overton, standing with the actor John Wayne on the set of “They Were Expendable,” a World War II movie made in 1945.
“My dad was invited to the movie set because he survived the Bataan Death March, three years in prison camp and the 1944 sinking of the Shinyo Maru in the Philippines,” recalls Cecilia, who serves as director of sales for the Forum at Park Lane, a Five Star Senior Living community in Dallas. “Dad was one of only 82 prisoners who survived.” Upon returning home from the war, Cletis married his grade school sweetheart, Catherine, Cecilia’s mother, who had served in the war as a lieutenant and nurse in the U.S. Army.
With such a rich heritage, Memorial Day carries great meaning for Cecilia, whose community will be commemorating the day with a Wall of Honor, a barbeque, music and guest speakers. “Working these last five years as director of sales at the Forum at Park Lane is an honor serving our residents and the greatest generation!” she says.
This Memorial Day, Five Star Senior Living Communities are honoring our fallen war heroes with events that both honor their sacrifice and celebrate what they fought to protect—our freedom to gather safely and enjoy life.
Here just some examples of how Five Star communities are honoring Memorial Day:
- Walls of Honor and Walls of Fame—photo displays of those being remembered as well as veterans being honored
- War memorials with floral decorations lovingly created by residents
- Introducing a Vietnam War Memorial (Somerford House & Place Hagerstown, MD)
- Flag ceremonies with playing of “Taps”
- Traditional barbeques—one community, Pueblo Norte of Scottsdale, AZ, will have an antique truck with a jukebox on the back playing old favorites
- Inviting the local high school color guard to present colors and join residents for lunch
- Live music, from local DJs spinning tunes to live concerts
- Field trips to local cemeteries holding Memorial Day salutes
- Field trips to local parks
- Cornhole tournaments and other games
- Handouts of Memorial Day historical facts at place settings
From moving ceremonies to concerts, Five Star communities are showing their pride and patriotism in ways big and small—all to honor those brave women and men who served our country so we could gather freely and safely. We hope you and your family get to celebrate Memorial Day in style as well. What a great way to honor those who put their lives on the line so we could live ours.
Where living is celebrated
Would you like to make new memories—times worth celebrating? Find out if there’s a Five Star Senior Living community near you. We’ll arrange a tour so you can see for yourself just how much you have to look forward to every day of the year.
Cecilia Overton with residents at The Forum at Park Lane