Archive for Monday, May 28, 2012

Lawrence community honors sacrifices on Memorial Day 2012

May 28, 2012


Veterans groups and members of the Lawrence community came together Monday at local cemeteries to honor those who sacrificed themselves for their country.

At the Lawrence Veterans of Foreign Wars ceremony, Felix Zacharias, an Iraq War veteran, said he appreciated the support from those at the Memorial Day ceremony.

“As long as we can have assemblies such as these, our flag can keep flying, as it has been and as it must forever be,” he said.

The American Legion Dorsey-Liberty Post 14 also hosted a ceremony at 10 a.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery before the VFW ceremony at Memorial Park Cemetery at 11 a.m.

VFW Post Commander Fred Shockey III said the group came together not only to honor the lives lost by the service members, but also the lives lived.

“The courage possessed by the men and women we are honoring today cannot be taught,” he said.

Therman Wolfe, of Perry, and Sam Hall, of Lawrence, both Vietnam War veterans, attended the VFW’s ceremony.

Wolfe, a former VFW post commander, said he noticed that many of the people participating in this year’s ceremony were of a younger generation, many of whom had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It all passes on,” he said. “They did a wonderful job. They’re our future, and they had a lot to say that was very poignant. ... It was an honor to behold it.”

The VFW ceremony continued with a partial “avenue of flags,” after a VFW trailer with about 300 flagpoles had gone missing from the post’s property.

Shockey said the group was able to put up about 25 flags for the ceremony after receiving financial support from the Lawrence Sertoma Club, Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home and various anonymous donors after an article in the Journal-World earlier in the week. Westlake Ace Hardware also helped out by working to secure the necessary hardware for the flags to be displayed, Shockey said. Members of the VFW post volunteered on Saturday to ensure the flags would be set up in time.

The post is continuing to try to raise $8,500 to replace all 300 poles for next year’s ceremony.

Though the flags served as an important reminder for all who entered the cemetery, Shockey said, they weren’t the most important part of the ceremonies on Monday.

“I don’t think it was ever about the flagpoles,” Shockey said. “It was about families coming out and grieving for their loved ones.”


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