Somber and spirited events mark Memorial Day at JBLM

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- Somber and spirited events highlighted Memorial Day observances in and around Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The cemetery at JBLM was the setting for the observance on base.

"And most importantly honor our fallen for it is because of their sacrifice that we owe our freedom and our way of life," said 7th Infantry Division deputy commander Brig. Gen. Willard Burleson,

The flag at half-staff position reminds residents and servicemen of the more than one million men and women who died in service of their country. At noon the flag was raised, symbolic of the living raising up their memories.

Just across the way from JBLM in Dupont, the remembrances continued with "Wear blue, run to remember." Among those running was Gold Star Mom Mary Bradshaw of Steilacoom who, lost her son, Lt. Brian Bradshaw, to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan five years ago.

She took note that President Obama visited troops in Afghanistan this weekend, making it clear the war was ending at the end of the year.

"I would hope that we have done some good," Bradshaw said. "I cannot believe that all of these young men and women died in vain."

Also in the run was former Army specialist Edward Lychik of Tacoma, who lost his leg in Afghanistan. He recently ran in the Boston Marathon with the prosthetic leg.

"Showing what the human spirit is capable of doing," Lychik said. "Showing people that you can lose a limb and you can still live an extraordinary life."

Lychik ran to honor the memory of three of his fellow soldiers.