Memorial Day Services paid tribute Monday to those military men and women who gave their lives defending their country at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware.
“On this beautiful morning we are honored and humbled, to gather today in memory of those that made the greatest sacrifice they could for their country,” said Jeff Benton, Delaware County commissioner, in the opening of his keynote address for the service. “Sacrifices that without which there would be no United States of America.”
Benton said that it was the U.S. military that saved this country during the Civil War, it saved the world in both World Wars and it continues to protect democracy.
“It’s a mission that many have selflessly embarked on, but not all have returned,” Benton said. “Each year on this last Monday in May we should remind ourselves that keeping this nation whole is the best and most fitting tribute we can pay to our brave warriors.”
Harold B. Wolford, president of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095, said, “It’s a day of remembering those that have given everything that we might be free,” he said.
Wolford said the flags on the graves are maintained year round. “It’s a very small cost for saying thank you,” he said.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church rector, Terry Highland, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War in 1965. He said he was a Lieutenant Commander on the Midway and their job was to pull downed pilots out of the water. He said he was at the services remembering the aviators who had lost their lives in that war.
Kris and Leslie Boey said now that their children are older it is time to teach them the meaning of this day. “Memorial Day meant more than shopping and cookouts,” said Leslie.
The services included Judge Henry Shaw, retired, presenting the Gettysburg Address dressed as a brigadier general of the Union Army. He also gave a brief history behind the address.
The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095 Honor Guard performed three-shot rifle volley that was followed by taps.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.