The Fayette County Veterans Service Commission, with assistance from other community organizations, held its annual Memorial Day program on Friday afternoon.
Starting at noon, the old Pioneer Cemetery behind the Dairy Queen in Washington Court House was filled with visitors and veterans alike to honor the fallen soldiers who rest there and all over the nation. This event is held thanks to the veterans service commission, the VFW Post 3762 and the Kiwanis Club of Washington Court House. Additionally, Kirkpatrick Funeral Home was thanked for providing chairs, and Patchwork Gardens was thanked for providing flowers. Jerry Savage, Fayette County Veterans Service commissioner, served as the master of ceremonies and welcomed the community to the event.
Following Savage was a long list of community members who helped to honor the memory of those fallen heroes with various speeches and demonstrations. The first was Washington Court House City Manager Joe Denen, who talked about the cemetery upkeep, followed by Fayette County Commissioner Tony Anderson, who thanked all servicemen and women for their sacrifice. Local veteran and veteran service commissioner Ed Fisher gave the invocation while two Lions Club members — Rodney Wright and Ray Deeks — presented the flag, and veterans service commissioner Eddie Wynne and veterans service officer Amy Jackson raised it.
Next came the Star Spangled Banner performed by Meagan Coffman from The Gathering Place, and Fisher led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Patricia Dewees then took to the podium to read a poem for the crowd before speaker, retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Janasov, addressed those in attendance to discuss important anniversaries for veterans and their families, and discussed D-Day.
“It is the verdict of history that faithful men and women are courageous and the men who conducted the assault on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 were filled with both the fortitude to get the job done and the courage to make that assault,” Janasov said. “So as we approach the 75th anniversary of their landing at Normandy let me recant the prayer of our President at that time and let us remember the resonance of what we ought to seek in guidance from our highest elected official, ‘And so in this poignant hour I ask that you join me in prayer: Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.”
Following the speech, Mason Jackson and Cameron Morton placed flags, and veterans service commissioner Bob Malone placed the wreath as special speaker, local historian and retired teacher Paul LaRue, took to the podium. LaRue spoke about Felix Mcelhaney, an American Revolution veteran who now rests in Fayette County. Mcelhaney had a marker dedicated to him during the ceremony, which was presented by the Fayette County Honor Guard and George Clifton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution member Tracey Rankin Owens.
Stay with the Record-Herald for more coverage of Memorial Day events in the Tuesday, May 28 edition of the paper.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.