NORTH WEBSTER — Members of American Legion Post 253 were busy this Memorial Day morning. Cemetery services were held at Thorn, Salem and Mock cemeteries honoring the fallen soldiers who were laid to rest there.
A ceremony was also held at the post. A parade was then held featuring the post’s color guard, North Webster’s emergency vehicles, the Wawasee Middle School band and local Boy and Cub Scouts to North Webster Cemetery.
Post Adjutant Bob Harding acted as master of ceremonies. Post Commander Larry Burkhart, noted that 630,562 souls have been given for American Freedom since the American Revolution.
The post’s sergeant at arms laid a wreath at the foot of the war memorial in the cemetery. Randy Chandler performed a song and Russ Yale, district deputy director for Congressman Jim Banks read a statement provided by Banks who was unable to attend.
Pastor Glenn Hall of Harvest Community Church in Pierceton was the featured speaker. He asked how many in the audience were emotionally overcome by the ceremony, with several raising their hands.
Hall spoke of remembering a time when he was in elementary school, “Every day started with the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer,” he said.
He spoke of feeling responsible for teaching his children and grand children how important freedom is. “My fear is we are not teaching our children as we should,” he said.
Hall told the crowd he feels emotional when he sees young men and women in uniform and wishes he knew how to salute appropriately to those who serve.
“We are free in this country because of those who gave all,” he said.
He stressed the need for parents to teach their children why Memorial Day is celebrated in such a somber way. “It’s not just a three day weekend at the beginning of summer,” he said.
After his remarks, Harding read the roll of post members who died in the past year. There was a gun salute and the playing of Taps.
The ceremony ended with Chandler getting everyone involved in singing “Proud to be an American,” by Lee Greenwood.