Honoring the fallen

Gordon Kamai of Christ Church-Anglican presented the opening prayer on Memorial Day (May 25) in the Little Church in the Oakhill Cemetery. The service of remembrance included music, prayer, and scripture readings.

The congregation contributed with testimonies to family and loved ones who were being honored by the Memorial Day Service.

Youth With A Mission director, Nate Nielsen, delivered a message of gratefulness for the freedoms he enjoys which were secured by the sacrifices by those who served our country.

Reflecting on his mission work, Nielsen said he values the diplomatic courtesy and access that his United States passport affords him in foreign countries. For him, that passport is another symbol of the freedoms for which we give thanks to our military men and women.

Nielsen reminded those gathered that freedom of religion is not secured by pastors - it is due to soldiers - and likewise, freedom of speech is not secured by journalists but by soldiers.

“Our way of life today is thanks to men and women who died for what they believed and we honor them today,” Nielsen said.

The long tolling of the bell at the end of the service played tribute to those who have served and those still serving in the military today.

VFW Post 8743 and the Marine Corps League Griswold Mountain Detachment presented a military tribute to all soldiers and military personnel who have given their lives in service to America. Col Jerry Bosworth and other officers conducted the tribute at the grave of Lt Skeane. Skeane was with the US Calvary in the early 1800s. A gun salute and taps concluded the service.

On Sunday evening members of Cub Scout Pack 341 placed individual United States flags on the graves of veterans throughout the cemetery.

Early Monday morning, members of VFW Post 8743 and the Marine Corps League Griswold Mountain Detachment set up more than 40 giant United States flags on poles along roadways in the cemetery. This has become an anticipated and treasured tradition by mountain residents. The giant flags are from the caskets of service men and women which have been donated by Mountain Area families.

Memorial Day ended with the return of the two auxiliary teams of former and retired veterans who carefully took down each United States flag, rolled it and wrapped for safe keeping until Veteran’s Day in September.