Memorial Day 2024 - News & Photos - McDonogh School

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Annual Memorial Day Ceremony Honors and Remembers

Following McDonogh's Memorial Day Ceremony, fourth graders placed flags on the markers of servicemen buried at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery. See more pictures below.


Students, faculty and staff, trustees, retirees, and alumni gathered in silence for McDonogh School’s 78th annual Memorial Day Ceremony on the morning of Thursday, May 22. The solemn occasion, which was held in the R-L Center due to rainy conditions, remembers and honors those members of the McDonogh Family who lost their lives in service to our country. The Upper School String Ensemble set the tone for the morning.

Head of School Dave Farace ‘87 gave the opening remarks and shared a brief history of Memorial Court and McDonogh’s Gold Star Heroes whose names are inscribed on the monument which stands as the centerpiece of the area. After Tyler Crimmins ’25 introduced the invocation, Director of Character and Service Bridget Collins '90 shared the story of Carl Ortman, Jr., Class of 1941. She said, “As I was researching in the Archives, I came across something that really struck me. In the 1941 Legacy, there was a tiny newspaper clipping tucked into the margins. It was an obituary for Carl E. Ortman, Jr., Class of 1941 - a McDonogh student killed in action during World War II at just 22 years of age. His classmate Francis Brown had carefully placed that clipping remember him.”

She continued, “Can you imagine? Reading through your senior yearbook decades later and finding a fallen friend's obituary tucked inside? It's a powerful reminder that for past generations of McDonogh students, war was not just something they read about. It impacted them directly. The names on our memorial weren't just etchings on a stone - they were real people. Classmates, teammates, friends.” Read Carl Ortman’s story.

As the gathering reflected on Carl Ortman’s story, the Lower School Choir performed When Angels Call Me Home. Then, Collins introduced the poem The McDonogh Uniform written by Eustace Glascock, a member of the McDonogh Class of 1879. She noted, “Its most powerful line, ‘We Give Something More than We Take,’ became the McDonogh motto. When Memorial Court was dedicated in 1946, Eustace Glascock was present at age 85 to recite his poem to begin the ceremony.” In keeping with tradition, Caitln Xenakis ’07, and current students, London Golas ’25, Ming Li ’28, and Colin Heath ’32 recited the iconic poem.

The 2024 Memorial Day ceremony concluded with Xenakis and rising Senior Class President Josh Brown placing a wreath at the Memorial monument to honor McDonogh veterans. After Taps was played, and the benediction given, the student body dismissed in silence as the Upper School Strings played Finlandia.

Following the ceremony and in partnership with Greatest Good McDonogh, the fourth grade traveled to Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery where they placed American flags at the markers of service members who are buried there. Additionally, throughout the day, students and guests visited a display curated by military historian Butch Maisel ‘72 including World War II artifacts related to Lt. Ortman.

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