by Greg Lincoln
This past Monday, the community of Bethel was invited to the Veterans Cemetery for the Memorial Day Ceremony, hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10041 and the Ladies Auxiliary.
The day was windy and dusty but folks still came to the ceremony as they have faithfully done throughout all the years we have lived here in Bethel.
Before the memorial began, folks took some time to walk around and visit the resting places of those that have departed and to also greet one another on this day of memorial. Thank you for your visiting our loved ones.
Memorial Day is celebrated the last Monday in May and is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military.
Memorial Day was officially established in 1966, when Congress and President Lyndon Johnson held a ceremony on May 5, 1866 to honor local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Then in 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, and the last Monday in May became Memorial Day.
Each year the VFW Post selects a special venue for the ceremony at the resting place of a departed comrade. This year it was held at the gravesite of George Hohman Jr. who served in the U.S. Army. Special guest and daughter Catherine Hohman was in attendance.
Veterans of the post marched up the road along with their flagbearers in formation along with members of the Ladies Auxiliary, and then community folks – many of whom have a loved one who has served and has gone on before us.
The ceremony was solemn and reverent as members of the VFW Post gave their speeches and placed a symbol of honor and memorial on the gravesite. The flags flew proudly in the wind over the gathered throng.
Veteran Buck Bukowski, Chaplain for the Post plead the following request that was especially moving:
“Father of us all! In the depth of our silent reverence we realize the truth of the inspired words, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. As comrade after comrade departs we march on with our ranks grown thinner. Help us to be faithful unto Thee and to one another. Look in mercy on the widows and children of our departed comrades, we beseech Thee, and with Thine own tenderness console and comfort those who are bereaved. Heavenly father, bless our country with freedom, peace and righteousness. Through thy favor may we meet at last before Thy throne in Heaven. We praise Thy Great Name forever and ever. Amen.”
Quyana for this day that we are able to remember those who served our country and also our cherished and loved ones that have also passed on. We are comforted knowing that this day of remembrance will continue on as the years and the ages roll on. Thank you.