GLEN SPEY and ELDRED, NY — Veterans, military moms and a cross-section of the Lumberland community gathered outside the town hall in Glen Spey to honor and give thanks for those who gave their …
GLEN SPEY and ELDRED, NY — Veterans, military moms and a cross-section of the Lumberland community gathered outside the town hall in Glen Spey to honor and give thanks for those who gave their all to preserve freedom and liberty in America.
The brief but poignant morning ceremony was hosted by town historian Frank Schwartz. Deputy supervisor Leigh Sherman was on hand to welcome the participants, concluding with the quote, “‘The most precious metals on earth are the dog tags of our warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country’s freedom.’”
Rev. Nancy Lee Vonderhorst of Pond Eddy United Methodist Church provided a brief reflection after which she led the group in prayer. “You and I are the inheritors of the freedom that others have died for,” she said, “and it is our responsibility as citizens to safeguard and protect that freedom for our kids and grandkids—the generations yet to be born. We need to instill in our children a respect and appreciation for what was sacrificed, not just for us but on their behalf and the behalf of their children’s children, and that’s the truth!”
Boy Scout Troop 102 members placed baskets of flowers at the foot of seven monuments, including three new ones. The monuments commemorate those who served in World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Persian Gulf, Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Inherent Resolve Islamic State.
One of the plaques is dedicated to all from Lumberland who placed their lives in the hands of their country in vindication of right and righteousness throughout the world.
As the flowers were placed, American Legion Post 1363 provided the honor guard, including a three-gun salute and the playing of taps.
In the early afternoon, Town of Highland residents gathered in Eldred’s Heroes Park for an observance. The ceremony was jointly hosted by VFW Post 6427 and American Legion Post 1363, and was emceed by VFW commander Pete Carmeci.
“Since the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord in the Revolutionary War,” Carmeci said, “more than one million Americans have died in defense of our liberty and freedom. In peacetime and in war, these individuals answered the call to defend our American way of life.”
Vonderhorst reminded those gathered that Scripture teaches that there is no greater love than this, that one would lay down his life for his friends. Father Richard Bretone from St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Yulan asked that God would continue to shine His great light on our great nation and that it would continue to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Richard Vandevelde, post adjutant from the American Legion, gave a brief history of the day. Originally known as Decoration Day, the remembrance began when southern women decorated the graves of their war dead after the War Between the States. Eventually, Decoration Day became known as Memorial Day to honor the fallen from all wars. “Whether you agree or disagree with all of the wars and conflicts we’ve been involved in as a nation,” he said, “we should never forget the sacrifices these brave souls made defending our freedom.”
The three-gun salute and taps were part of the ceremony.
Rev. Susan Storms from Eldred Congregational Church gave the benediction, praying, “Father God, as we remember and honor those that have given their lives for our country, let us leave from this site stirred to action in their memory. Enable us to do all that is possible to promote peace and justice in our world. Empower us to love our neighbors, both near and all over Your world. Strengthen us to do the work You call us to do for Your glory in this world, and when our mission here is complete, welcome us by Your grace into eternity in Your Kingdom. Amen.”
See riverreporter.com/photos for more Memorial Day coverage, including additional photos from this service.
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