Memorial Day 2018

Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.  Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30.  It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.  By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation.

Duckett Creek Sanitary District would like to honor our veterans.  Currently about 10% of the workforce at the District are veterans.   Recently some of the District veterans sat down to talk about their military experiences and how certain holidays affect them.   Today the District is honoring veteran Dwayne Thompson.

2nd Class Petty Officer Dwayne Thompson

Branch: United States Navy

Basic Training: Great Lakes – Great Lakes, Illinois

Stationed: Naval Station Norfolk


Dwayne served in the United States Navy in the mid-1980s.   Basic training was at Naval Station Great Lakes.  The history at Great Lakes shows a commitment from the Navy to entice potential recruits from the Midwest.

Interesting fact:

Not long after the Spanish-American war, in 1902, U.S. Navy leaders noticed a remarkable fact: Many of their best Sailors came from the American Midwest. Why not train Sailors in the same part of the country?  The Naval Station at Great Lakes was opened in July of 1911.

He says this about Memorial Day.  “Memorial Day is a day to remember veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

Dwayne followed his father in military service.  His father served in the United States Army during the Korean War.

Dwayne’s time in the Navy allowed him to meet many interesting people.   In addition, the Navy made it possible for Dwayne to travel to many different countries.   “There is no way I could have left the United States and travel to countries like Italy, Spain, Venezuela and France.  Although traveling to the Arctic was not on a wish list, I’ve been there.”  He said there were no bad experiences while serving, but being at sea for 102 days was a struggle.

Duckett Creek Sanitary District is proud to have veterans like Dwayne on staff.


Tom Wittmaier

Joe Axetell

Tim Lindsey

Dwayne Thompson