Saturday, February 4, 2023

Solemn Images by Sharon Hays of Oxford's Honored War Dead on Memorial Day

Memorial Day in Oxford. All photos by Sharon Hays

Yesterday, Memorial Day, was celebrated in different ways in Oxford and around the nation.
For some, it was little more than a day off and a chance to cook outside and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.
But for others, it was an opportunity to remember the nation’s war dead. And for even a more select group, it was a bittersweet reminder of a lost family member, loved one or friend. A fond remembrance and respectful salute to someone who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom.
For me, it was a chance to recall a man I only met as a first-grader. My godfather Bill Mullen was a Marine Corps fighter pilot and my Dad’s best friend. My Dad, a Naval aviator himself, flew with Bill often as instructors in Pensacola, Fla.
Bill Mullen was shot down over Laos in his A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft in the early 1960s. It took the Pentagon a number of years to finally declare him dead, bringing some sense of closure to his wife Barbara and two sons.
Bill is who I think of on Memorial Day. I would challenge you, next year, amid the celebrating and fun to spend a few minutes thinking about the purpose of this holiday.
Here are a few photos taken by Sharon Hays, staff photographer that may bring the true meaning of Memorial Day home to you:
i-wP4Wgc8-X3i-kzrGXsg-X3i-XQGRbfx-X3Andy Knef is editor of Sharon Hays is a staff photographer.