WE HONOR OUR HEROES [with gallery]

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Master Chief Shalonda Jackson, U.S. Navy paid tribute to fallen soldiers in each of America’s generation in a Memorial Day speech Saturday in Andalusia.

Jackson was the guest speaker at the annual service Saturday at the Covington Veterans Memorial Park.

“For some, Memorial Day means BBQ or a three-day weekend,” she said. “For others, it is the beginning of summer. You look forward to long, lazy days.

“But for some, Memorial Day holds special significance. It began as Decoration Day – and it rose from the ashes of Civil War. Congress officially recognized it in 1887.

“With each passing year, we honor our heroes for their achievement, courage, and dedication. Thank you for the sacrifices you made.”

Jackson said they all shared the traits of courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity.

“Many didn’t ask to leave their homes and go to war on foreign lands,” she said. “They were ordinary people who responded in extraordinary ways. They were the millions of Americans fought to defend our country and make our way of life so easy.”

Still, she said, Americans answer the call to duty.

“Even as we lose troops, more Americans still step forward, and stand ready for the challenge,” she said.

The holiday, she said, has its roots in the aftermath of the Civil War, when Southerners began the tradition of playing flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers.

“It was out of respect for all U.S. soldiers with the hope of those who lost loved ones in north that their loved ones’ graves also would be respected,” she said.


Master Chief Jackson serves as Avionics Division LCPO at the Fleet Readiness Center in Jacksonville, Fla.

Her husband, Donte’ LaShun Jackson, is an Andalusia native and a 1990 graduate of AHS. Their son, DeVante, graduated AHS Friday night. Their daughter, DeMyah, is 8.