The Fayette County Honor Guard took part in several remembrance ceremonies on Monday for Memorial Day — Washington Cemetery, St. Colman Catholic Cemetery, and Highlawn Cemetery.
The Memorial Day service at Washington Cemetery began at 10 a.m. and lasted approximately half an hour.
The guest speaker for the ceremony was State Senator Bob Peterson.
During his speech, Peterson said, “We need to remember what’s most important.”
While Peterson said this is a time for celebration of numerous things including graduation, the holiday, farming, etc., the most important memory for Memorial Day is remembering those who served.
“We should celebrate their life and honor them, and make the sacrifice that they made for us worthwhile,” said Peterson.
He also said that when explaining Taps to his child, he explained it as, “(Taps) is like a prayer honoring those who have passed away.”
In addition to the Honor Guard performing Taps and the 21-gun Salute, the Washington High School band —conducted by Matt Stanley— performed during the service.
The presentation of the wreath was done by Honor Guard members Eddie Fisher and Bob Everhart.
Local Teresa Ford sang two songs for the service: “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Let There be Peace.”
After the Washington Cemetery Service, the Honor Guard went to St. Colman Catholic Cemetery for a service at 11 a.m. and, following that ceremony, was the final service of the day at 1 p.m. at Highlawn Cemetery.
At both services, Fisher gave a speech, and the Honor Guard performed Taps and the 21-gun salute.
The presentation of the wreath was done by Honor Guard members Pat Deweese and Bob Everhart.
Once again, local Teresa Ford sang two songs for the service: “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Let There be Peace.”
Fisher gave a speech at both services that he had saved from a different veteran:
”Freedom is not free. May 30th is a very important day in America. It was set aside by our government for Americans to remember and to honor those men and women who gave us this great country through their sacrifice in the armed forces of our nation, designated as Memorial Day.
“We should remember the sacrifices of our service men and women who answered the call to duty. Those who paid the ultimate price for the love of their country. They demonstrated what it is to be an American.
“President Harry Truman spoke to a gathering in Berlin Germany. In July 1945, while the American Flag was raised over General Eisenhower’s Headquarters, ‘we had conclusively proven that a free people at great sacrifice can look after our own affairs.’
“American men and women have, in each generation, challenged those skeptics and tyrants around the world, who would take away our freedom and desire for self-government.
“This year on Memorial Day, in services across America, we will pay homage to those men and women who gave their lives around the world defending our way of life.
“With the hope of a better world, a peaceful world, a world in which all people could enjoy a life with freedom. We honor those who confidently marched away for their country and never came home. Mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers and children feel a great loss for the rest of their lives.
“Today, as we enjoy the freedom to do whatever we dream, it is because of these heroes who we honor — never again will they witness the beautiful changing of the seasons, nor hear their child’s first words, nor feel the warm sun on their faces.
“All that we are and have as a nation is because of these brave men and women. They risked and gave all for the freedom that we enjoy, reminding us always that ‘freedom is not free.’”
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.