Community remembers veterans with Memorial Day ceremony
Representatives of several civic organizations honored veterans of all modern conflicts during Monday's ceremonies at the Grove City Cemetery.
Stanley Brangham, a 1953 Blackfoot High School graduate, narrowly missed service in the Korean War but served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Reserve.
Delivering "A Tribute to Our Armed Forces," Brangham noted how veterans have helped preserve our freedoms, particularly those of the press and religion.
"These two freedoms, among the many others that we enjoy," have been earned by the blood, sweat and tears of countless Americans who donned the uniforms of the military services and fought to win and preserve them," the native of Fort Hall said.
Brangham noted that those who have served over our lifetimes are the true superstars ofour nation.
"For all the horrors of war, we must remember that freedom is not free," Brangham said. "History has shown us that there is always some despot who seeks to rule the world. Therefore we must remain ever vigilant with a trained and ready armed force to repel aggression."
After placing a wreath at the Veterans Memorial in the cemetery, Dave Cannon of the local Rotary chapter said, "may we honor their service and sacrifice by standing up for freedom in every way that we can."
"We appreciate all the sacrifice they have given," said Afton Rogers of the Red Hat Society.
Members of the Blackfoot Fire Department and the Blackfoot Police Department were among the organizations which placed wreaths at the memorial.
"As a Marine Corps veteran, this is my distinct honor," said officer Jon Hay of the police department.
Steven Faulkner, speaking in behalf of the Korean Conflict War Veterans, noted that we must also remember those still listed as missing in action from that war and Vietnam.
The missing from those two wars are greater than the population of Blackfoot, he noted.
Jim Ballard of the Southern Baptist Church read the flyleaf from the New Testament which his father received during World War II. It featured a message from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his signature.
Ballard read a poem by Don Kelly. One line said, "they have fought for ages to keep freedom on its throne."
Members of Boy Scout Troop 276 said, "we present this wreath to those who protect our freedom past and present."
Following the service, members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsored a potluck meal for those who participated in or attended the ceremonies.