All gave some — some gave all

Community CorrespondentJune 18, 2013 

The Oakhurst Lutheran Church hosted the fourth annual Flag Day Observance with a special dedication of the Veteran's Memorial Monument at the church on June 14.

Pastor David Sebastian welcomed more than 200 guests who came wearing red, white and blue, waving small American flags provided by the Sierra Lions Club, showing their patriotic support.

For those attending, the event it was a time to pay tribute to the true meaning of the flag and the heroes who fought to keep the tradition alive. The opening ceremony brought children, seniors, families and veterans to their feet as everyone joined together to sing "God Bless America" accompanied on the organ by Delaney Beyer. Later during the ceremony, Delaney and her sister Haley, sang the "National Anthem"a Capella.

Pastor Sebastian welcomed everyone and made it very clear as to the importance of honoring the American flag and why the event is held.

"There is only going to be one flag, our nation's flag flown here tonight," Sebastian said. "There will be no other nations flag. There will be no powder blue and white flag. Only the stars and stripes. Only old glory. We are also going to give thanks to our nation, our veterans and our wounded warriors."

After Sebastian presented a brief history of the flag, Boy Scout Troop No. 341 began the ceremonial flag presentation, carefully unfolding a large American flag while everyone stood in honor by placing either their right hand over their heart or stood in full salute as the flag ascended up the flag pole into the evening sky.

For everyone present the meaning behind the ceremony was very personal yet significant. Guest speaker Ret. Colonel John Somerville of North Fork, who served 30 years in the Marine Corps, spoke about what defines a veteran.

"Everyday when I put on my uniform, I was scared," Somerville said. "Scared that they would find out how much I enjoyed my job. It was an honor to serve my country and even when we take our uniforms off we are never finished serving our country ... we are the ones that need to carry that torch. To remind our children and to remind our grandchildren and their children about what this country was about and what it still can be about."

Haley played an emotional rendition of the "Ashokan Farewell," on the violin setting the tone for the dedication of the Veteran's Memorial Monument. The monument, which is dedicated to the memory of all who proudly served and protected their country, has inscriptions of Palm 23, Isiah 40:31 along with a engraved plaque which reads, "All Gave Some - Some Gave All."

Cole Melanson chose Oakhurst Lutheran Church for his Eagle Scout project, installing sprinklers and lights for the veteran monument and flag pole, with the help of fellow scouts.

Sebastian concluded the ceremony by thanking the veterans for their months and years of service, for their energy, their lives and limbs which they gave, to makes us and others free.

Prior to dinner, Haley sang "Our Father."

Sebastian concluded the ceremony by thanking the veterans for their months and years of service, for their energy, their lives and limbs which they gave, to makes us and others free.

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