About 80 people gathered at Roselawn Memorial Park on Sunday to pay tribute to the men and women who serve in the military and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice through the years.
Purple Heart recipient Virgil Aldag spoke about the importance of remembrance to remind people that soldiers are still fighting for our protection and freedom.
“I hope to come to you in a year that we don’t have any lives lost because of war,” he said.
The event lasted about 40 minutes, just long enough for Aldag to remind people why it’s important to observe Memorial Day.
Aldag talked about how all soldiers give their lives to protect their families, friends and country, echoing the same speech he gave last year and the year before.
“It’s important that we never forget,” he said. “We’re only here because of the sacrifices soldiers made for our freedom. They submitted a blank check and cashed in everything they had, including their lives.”
Aldag also recited the resolution Congress made to turn Memorial Day into a national day of observance.
In honor of all of the U.S. fallen service members, Congress approved a resolution May 11, 1950, calling on U.S. residents to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace, according to a 2013 White House Memorial Day proclamation.
Congress also designated 3 p.m. on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.
Aldag said he encourages everyone to drop what they’re doing at 3 p.m. Memorial Day and take a few minutes to reflect.
“Take time to just remember,” he said. “And remind others to take time out to remember, too.”
The event was sponsored by Roselawn Memorial Park, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2205 and the Ladies Auxillary Post 2205.
American flags lined the memorial site and officials also arranged a simulated coffin covered with flowers as a tribute to those who gave their lives over the years.
On Friday, President Barack Obama released a statement reflecting on sacrifices made by soldiers in the military.
He said the county’s debt to the fallen soldiers can never be repaid. He also said that above all, Americans can honor those the country has lost by living up to the ideals they died defending.
After the ceremony was over, attendees shook hands and hugged veterans and soldiers in attendance, thanking them for their service.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.