Honor Guard Video Captures ‘Mood Appropriate’ For Memorial Day

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Rendering honors at some 50 or more military funerals per year, as well as at other ceremonial events, the 127th Wing Honor Guard performs many of the ceremonial duties of the Michigan Air National Guard - duties that are often in sharp focus as Memorial Day draws near.

The Honor Guard seeks "to pay respect to their families and to show them that the military still remembers those members, even though they have fallen," said Technical Sgt. Akenty Frazer, a member of the 127th Wing Honor Guard and 2012's Honor Guard Airman of the Year for the state of Michigan.

Frazer, who is an aircraft maintenance specialist in his primary job at Selfridge, joined the Honor Guard about five years ago.

"I originally volunteered on the Honor Guard to pay tribute to the veterans who came before us," Frazer says in a new video that highlights the duties of Honor Guard Airmen, created by the 127th Wing's Public Affairs office.

Military Honor Guards will be busy over the next week as the nation pauses to remember Memorial Day on Monday, May 27.

For more than 100 years, Americans have remembered the men and women who died while serving their nation in armed conflict. The routes of the holiday are traced back to the years immediately following the Civil War when a late spring day would be set aside as "Decoration Day," during which the graves of those who died in the Civil War were "decorated" with flowers, flags and other remembrances. Over the years, the day evolved into Memorial Day, when all of America's war dead are remembered and honored. The day's highlights typically include a laying of a wreath by the President of the United States at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C.

"I wanted the video of TSgt. Frazer to be dramatic and somber, to reflect the mood appropriate for the service that our Honor Guard performs," said Staff Sgt. Rachel Barton, the videographer who created the video.

"The ceremonial aspects of what the Honor Guard does - that's part of our heritage, not just as Airmen, but as Americans," said Barton.

Comprised of approximately 1,600 personnel and flying both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker, the 127th Wing supports Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which is also home to units of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection.