MEMORIAL DAY — These are just some of the many headstones decorated and adorned with the American flag for the Memorial Day services honoring veterans on Monday morning at the cemetery. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
A good number of people came out to the cemetery on Monday to observe Memorial Day services presented by the VFW Post, American Legion and their Auxiliaries.
The audience was treated to another fine talk by Lt. Col. Steve Ziadie from Malmstrom AFB. He has been a guest speaker before.
In his opening remarks, he noted, “…it is indeed an honor to be invited back here to speak to you on this Memorial Day.”
He jumped right into his talk by saying, “Today, I’m not going to insult you by talking to you about the significance of this day nor what it means to America. By your very presence here today, you already know what this day means and there is little else that my stumbling, bumbling words can add that would strengthen that understanding.”
The colonel noted that all in attendance were veterans or friends or family of a veteran. “I also am a veteran and have lost many friends who sacrificed themselves to the cause of liberty. So this day is very important and very personal to me as well.”
He noted that this day is one of dedication to the remembrance of the sacrifice of all men and women, who since the beginning of this nation, harvested for us the fruits of freedom that they bought with their lives.
Ziadie took a brief moment to speculate on what this day should mean to those citizens not present today and who are not planning on being present at any Memorial Day ceremony.
He explained that there were “Memorial Day Sales”, ball games, picnics barbecues, fishing trips and other events taking place. “I’m not saying we should not participate in these events – we should. But I hope that the citizens who attend these events first reflect on the source of the freedom that enables them to enjoy this day in the first place.”
He went on to add, “Today is the day we reflect and recall all those men and women patriots throughout our country’s history, who watered the Tree of Liberty with their blood and sacrifice. Let us remember them, let us pass their stories down to our children and grandchildren, so that the next generation of American citizens will forever be grateful, and in doing so, maintain the Liberty Tree’s bloom for future generations.”
Symbolic flowers and wreaths were put on veteran’s graves by the VFW and American Legion and their respective Auxiliaries. A 21-gun salute and, a closing prayer by the Rev. Kirk Kestler and playing of taps ended the ceremony.