MILFORD — The Milford community lined Main Street on May 31 for the Memorial Day Parade, featuring local veterans and the Ancil Geiger American Legion Post 226 honor guard. Following the parade, the legion held a ceremony at Milford Cemetery to “honor and pay respects to our comrades who have departed this life,” said Steve Wilson, Post 226 Chaplain.
Wilson, who is also pastor at Christian Church of Milford, welcomed parade-goers with a speech extolling the “grand experiment” of American democracy begun 245 years ago and championed by “great men and women whose names are well known and whose ideas are recorded for all history to ponder and pursue — names like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harriet Tubman all contributed to our national quest for equality and freedom for all.”
“But, when people tried to divide us, to silence and deride us, these nationally known names were always supported and defended by names of soldiers, sailors and airmen whose identities would be lost to all but for the families and communities from which them came. This is why we are here today.”
Wilson made special note of Stanley Stump, Post 226 Commander for 44 years, who, said Wilson, “served his country and this community with dedication and honor.” Stump’s post was filled by Keith Ousley.
“If we forget to to honor those of our own community who bought our rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness, we will surely fail to raise a new generation capable of understanding, or sacrificing to continue this grand experiment into the next generation,” stated Wilson.
During the Milford Cemetery ceremony, the honor guard was joined by Wawasee High School student D.J. Stump, Stanley Stump’s grandson, who performed Taps. The Wawasee High School band was also on hand to perform “Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”
Wilson prayed for “those who have given their lives in service of our country, and for those our fellow veterans who have served this nation both in time of battle and in time of peace and are now at rest with You.”