By REBECCA HAZEN
American Legion Post 106 held a Memorial Day Service at Veteran’s Park on Monday, May 30.
“Armistice Day is for soldiers that are still in uniform. Veteran’s Day is for all veterans that have served. Memorial Day is for those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Post 106 Commander Gary Moore said.
Chaplin Jim Blaylock gave the opening prayer during the program and Sergeant of Arms Terry Lance led the Pledge of Allegiance.
“We are thankful to be able to come together to honor our fallen comrades. We pray that as we look back on this Memorial Day, that we can be thankful that we are here standing today, paying tribute to them. We are thankful for every service man and women that we have, past, present, and future,” Blaylock said.
“This day is such a solemn day. I walk by this wall many times, and when I do, I get chills. It draws me in, and I stop and read these names,” County Executive Ted Rumley said, referencing the names of the veterans on the memorial in the park.
Rumley continued by reading, “The reason for choosing military service differs from person to person. As varied as the reasons are, there is a universal understanding that service means sacrifice, even if that sacrifice means one’s own life. The impact of that ultimate sacrifice ripples through our communities. Service member’s deaths touch more than just the lives of their loved ones and friends. When their stories are shared in our neighborhoods, homes, schools and places of worship, these men and women become a part of the collective identity of our hometowns.”
Rumley noted that a lot of young people tend to not realize the importance of our freedom, but that has not happened in Dade County.
“We remember these people, and we always will. We have lost a lot of people in the last four to five years. We’re not young anymore. One person that I miss every day is Allan Bradford. We love all of you,” Rumley said.
Retired General Bob Woods was the guest speaker for the ceremony.
“I thank you for your great support over the years for our finest and bravest men and women. Each year we set aside a single day to reflect on the service of our armed forces in generations past and present. This is a day where we must also honor the sacrifices of military family members. Family members bear the brunt of repeated deployments, long separations, and the fear of receiving a knock on the door with the worst of all possible news,” Woods said.
Woods continued, “Regardless of what is going on within our collective nation, small town America is the place where the right things continue to happen. Small town America provides us hope for our future. It provides us with a cornerstone of who we are and what we should believe in.”
Woods noted that he is not a Dade County native, but he has lived here for the past 40 years. He has traveled extensively, and he noted that Dade County is a special place to live in.
“We thank our American Legion here for their support. The Honor Guard of Post 106 has supported our military families over 360 times as they conduct final military honors. We take pride in all of us who have served. Folks always mention other service members to us and speak proudly of their service. Veterans line the street and salute when fallen veterans are coming home to our local funeral homes to be buried. Our schools have excellent Veteran Day’s programming. We also welcome home veterans that have returned home alive. That is small town America,” Woods said.
Also, during the ceremony there was a Prisoner of War Missing in Action empty chair ceremony to honor and remember all POWs all unaccounted for, as well as a flag folding ceremony. The names of the people that have passed on in the last year were also read. A bell was rung with each name.
The program concluded with a 21–gun salute and the playing of Taps.
Any veteran that is not a member of the American Legion was encouraged to become a member. To learn more about American Legion Post 106 contact Post Commander Gary Moore at (404) 376-9596.