05/30/12  A commemoration of those who gave their lives in defense of America was held on Memorial Day at the Culver Academies, a tradition that has been observed for more than 80 years.  The tradition includes a solemn roll call of each of the 250 Culver men who died while serving their country in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Global War on Terrorism.

Featured speaker for this year’s event was Naval Vice Admiral (Retired) Michael Bucci, former commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, now president of Ocean Systems Engineering Corp.

Following the ceremony was a processional to the ground in front of the Chapel, overlooking the lake, where Culver Military Academy Corp of Cadets passed in review, punctuated by a 21-gun salute by the CAM Artillery Battalion.

   The Gun number one hosted three generations of the Wilkinson family, from the South Bend area: Alex Wilkinson, a CMA sophomore, as loader; his father, Jay Wilkinson of Granger, as assistant gunner firing each round (Jay served as an Army Artillery Officer with the 82nd Airborne Division); and Alex’s grandfather, a South Bend resident and former Army Artillery Officer and Korean War veteran, as ammo bearer. Alex’s sister Samantha is a senior at Culver Girls Academy and will graduate on June 3.

Photo 1: Gold Star Flag for the Global War on Terrorism (one Culver alumnus has been killed in that conflict), being saluted by Patrick Shanahan, first-classman, in the Troop from Woodside, Calif.

Photo 2:  Wilkinson family