For 10-plus years, ever since the local Kiwanis started the clean-up of the old Washington Cemetery on Court Street, Memorial Day services have been held there on the Friday before Memorial Day.
Fayette County Commissioner Dan Dean, who was the speaker for this memorial service, said that “freedom should never be taken for granted” and that he likes “that every year the first service celebrating Memorial Day is held at this location.” Dean also shared his dismay “that the world seems to forget how devastating war is.”
The master of ceremonies was Iraqi veteran, Craig Miller. Miller was with Lima Company 3rd Battalion 25th Marines. Washington C.H. City Manager Joe Denen opened the service and county commissioner, Tony Anderson, welcomed all those in attendance. Pastor Mike Henry offered the invocation.
The president of Kiwanis, Lynn Hertler, presented the flag to Fayette County Veteran Service Commissioner Edward Fisher, who, along with Amy Jackson, Fayette County Veteran Service Officer, “raised Old Glory” in a strong wind. Members of the Washington High School vocal ensemble led the attendees in the National Anthem followed by Charles “Buck” Harris, Fayette County Veteran Service Commissioner, leading those assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance.
World War II POW, Norman Armbrust, shared a poem, and Marcus and Mason Jackson placed American flags around the flag pole as the names of those buried in the old Washington Cemetery were read aloud.
Coast Guard Veteran, Edward Fisher, placed a wreath at the foot of the flag pole and the Fayette County Veteran Honor Guard provided a 21-gun salute followed by Taps.
During the entire ceremony, the Washington High School concert band offered musical interludes that were patriotic, up-beat and provided opportunities for introspection.