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Archive for Monday, May 27, 2013

Rain doesn’t stop community from memorializing fallen soldiers

In a heavy rain, trumpeter Jeff Jenson, right, plays taps near the American Legion Honor Guard during Memorial Day services at the Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 American Legion Hall, 3408 W. Sixth St.

In a heavy rain, trumpeter Jeff Jenson, right, plays taps near the American Legion Honor Guard during Memorial Day services at the Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 American Legion Hall, 3408 W. Sixth St.

May 27, 2013

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Pouring rains couldn't stop local veterans organizations from memorializing their fallen comrades Monday.

While their Memorial Day ceremonies were moved inside by the heavy morning downpour, their message remained the same: Soldiers who died protecting our freedom should never be forgotten.

Lacey Greenfield, 13, left, and her grandmother Carol Greenfield, run through a heavy rain into the Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 American Legion Hall, 3408 W. Sixth St., on Monday before Memorial Day services. Heavy morning rains cancelled outdoor ceremonies at the veterans plot at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Lacey Greenfield, 13, left, and her grandmother Carol Greenfield, run through a heavy rain into the Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 American Legion Hall, 3408 W. Sixth St., on Monday before Memorial Day services. Heavy morning rains cancelled outdoor ceremonies at the veterans plot at Oak Hill Cemetery.

"Memorial Day is an important day not just for the veterans community but the community as a whole," said Michael Siroky, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 852, which relocated its ceremony from Memorial Park Cemetery to the post at 1801 Massachusetts St. (he reminds the public to check the post's Facebook page under VFW 852 for updates on where events are being held in the future). "It's important from time to time that we take a moment to focus on the sacrifice and hardship that servicemembers and their families have had to endure to maintain our way of life."

A smaller-than-expected crowd of about 30 to 40 people attended the event at VFW Post 852, which featured the normal ceremony minus the honor guard. Speaker Bob Burkhart discussed partnerships in patriotism within the community.

Over at American Legion Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14, the day's ceremonies went on as planned, even after being moved there from Oak Hill Cemetery, where the veterans plot had been decorated with dozens of flags for the occasion.

State Rep. Barbara Ballard speaks about the meaning of Memorial Day and honoring the flag during Memorial Day services at the Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 American Legion Hall, 3408 W. Sixth St., on Monday. Despite the rain and cancellation of outdoor ceremonies at Oak Hill Cemetery, Ballard said she wanted to keep on her spring hat.

State Rep. Barbara Ballard speaks about the meaning of Memorial Day and honoring the flag during Memorial Day services at the Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 American Legion Hall, 3408 W. Sixth St., on Monday. Despite the rain and cancellation of outdoor ceremonies at Oak Hill Cemetery, Ballard said she wanted to keep on her spring hat.

The American Legion Honor Guard and a local trumpeter performed in the rain outside 3408 W. Sixth St., while the flag retirement ceremony took place indoors. That's also where state Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, gave her thoughts on the importance of honoring our fallen soldiers and the American flag.

American Legion Lloyd Beaton Post 228 in Baldwin City had a turnout of 52 people despite the weather not cooperating, moving its ceremony from Oakwood Cemetery to the legion hall.

"Everything went off pretty good, except everybody was sitting there pretty wet," said post commander Tom Kleist.

Local teen Jenny Robbs played taps while Kleist gave a speech highlighting the selflessness of veterans (he also paid tribute to former President John F. Kennedy, who died 50 years ago this November).

Kleist said that after the recent Boston Marathon bombing, some veterans who had lost limbs in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars provided therapeutic and emotional support to victims who had similarly lost arms and legs in the terrorist attack.

"I think once you've been in the service you never lose your sense of duty and you never lose your desire to help your fellow Americans," Kleist said.

It's one reason local residents paid their respects Monday, even if they got soaked in the process.

Comments

rover 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I appreciate the American Legion and the VFW for the work they do to hold the Memorial day services to honor our veterans. It would be nice if LJW and 6 news could bother to let the public know when and where the services are the day before. Might have a better turn out that way.

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