MILFORD — Stan Stump of Milford’s American Legion Ancil Geiger Post 226 summed it up when, during the Memorial Day ceremony at Milford Cemetery, he said, “It’s been a beautiful weekend for the whole community here in Milford.” Following Saturday’s well-attended Milford Fest, the community once again turned out in large numbers for the Memorial Day parade to honor those who have died while serving in the armed forces.
As in previous years, the American Legion opened the parade with a prayer led by Chaplain Bob Geiger, which was followed by three volleys from the honor guard and a rendition of “Taps.” The parade was also led by float of veterans, which included Chris Brown, a former Marine who served two tours in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. Brown also spoke at Milford Cemetery following the parade. [Below is a gallery of photos from the Milford Memorial Day Parade.]
Brown is the grandson of Bob Brown, a World War II veteran and 70-year member of the legion who was a regular speaker at Memorial Day events until his death in 2017.
In 2007, Chris Brown was inspired to join the Marine Corps after hearing a Bible verse, Isaiah 6:8, in church: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'”
After his training at Camp Pendleton, Brown served in an infantry unit fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. “It is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t served what a day like today means to us,” he told the crowd before paying tribute to those who “paid the ultimate price.”
Brown also read the names of the newly deceased Milford community members who had served in combat: Harry Doty, World War II; Phil Beer, Korean War; Nick Skrumelak, Vietnam War.
Also taking part in the Milford Cemetery ceremony was Milford Middle School marching band, who performed “Star Spangled Banner.” Stump, who, along with other members of the legion has taken part in many school events, such as flag-folding ceremonies, thanked the students for their participation.