Memorial Day again and memories . . .I saw pink and white peonies, families and friends sitting along Old Trail Road watching the Memorial Day parade and a beautiful military ceremony honoring those that were lost.
At one time it was called Decoration Day, but it has always been a remembering time. Whole families get together and make a journey to the cemeteries, to pay their respects, and decorate the graves of their departed loved ones. It is a time of reminiscing, of strengthening family ties, and establishing our identity with our ancestors.
Although we use the phrase “Memorial Day” to show love and respect to all our relatives who had passed away, it was actually set aside in 1868 to honor the fallen men in our Armed Services.
This year’s Grand Marshall for the parade was Ken Holloway, Past Commander of American Legion Post #241. Commander Holloway is a Marine Corp Veteran who served with distinction. He has served as Commander for 5 years, was S.A.L. Commander and has been recognized for his dedication to the community, state and nation. He was accompanied by his wife Helen, who has been Ladies Auxilary President and currently holds a 4th District Office.
Following the Waynedale Memorial Day parade, I have always been touched by the commemoration of our war dead with the ceremony presented at Prairie Grove Cemetery by American Legion Post #241, VFW Post #1421 and AmVets Post #33.
On this day tall trees waved branches overhead, and so did our red, white and blue flag. The cemetery itself was surrounded by oak and maple trees, and the forever-green hemlocks, but also on this day of remembering gathered many friends and family.
Memorial Day in Waynedale, and across the USA, “is not a day for backyard BBQs, picnics in the park, a day off of work, or a day for parties. This is a day of mourning for those military members that we lost,” reported the speaker during the ceremony. Past Commander Charles Manor reminisced of Waynedale’s Military Ceremony, “Since 1982 I have been involved in this parade and its ceremony. It has grown and Waynedale should be proud!”
It was a warm, sunny, beautiful day. The bell was rung for Post #241’s final charter member Eugene Churchward, along with several others, honoring military members from area posts. Wayne High School performed, along with Rick Bell playing Taps and the Mizpah Shrine bag pipers pulling at the heartstrings as they played Amazing Grace.
On this day, we remembered the millions of Americans throughout history who sacrificed their lives to fight for our freedom. Whether it was in World War II, or Afghanistan, we must never forget to honor those who fell in the line of duty. The warm sun and extra time away from work could make it easy to forget what this day represents. We can’t forget that Memorial Day is about honoring those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.