“The duty and honor of our veterans, past and present, is the backbone of the nation.”
So declared David Bailey toward the conclusion of the annual Memorial Day service at Forest Lawn Cemetery and Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) in High Point. He also led attendees in song, before and after short speeches by two U.S. Army veterans – Steve Strand, representing VFW Post 2713, and Keith Hughes, representing American Legion Post 160, both headquartered in The Triangle.
This was a different, shorter service than recent years. We of course recorded it all – here are our 17 minutes of video:
No Taps this year, but a wreath was placed at a replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
It was Scott Weaver‘s Eagle Scout project and took almost a year – he’s at left, below, with Sean Dunbar and troop leader Brian Hutchison:
This is the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day. Both veterans included looks back to the time when it originated. From Strand’s speech:
America’s heroes come from every background. They are made up of every race, religion, color, and creed. They have fought in the air, sea, and land, at home and abroad. Despite all their differences they were united in their fight for a better world, and they paid with their lives. They leave behind families, friends, and colleagues. We come today to mourn their passing and to keep their memory alive.
I pray that God comforts each of you that are grieving a loss and I would like to leave you with the words from President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, “To do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Hughes also quoted President Lincoln, from his Gettysburg Address, including, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did … we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” And he noted that the U.S. number of war dead, since the Civil War, has now passed one million. After also quoting from the famous poem “In Flanders Fields,” Hughes offered this wish: “I pray that you will all rededicate yourselves to the cause of peace and freedom.”
The event included joy as well as solemn contemplation:
It was bookended, as usual, by the Duwamish Dixieland Jazz Band, with lively renditions of patriotic classics.