‘Best’ battle for freedoms
‘What words, what brief message can I impart that will even begin to sum up the sacrifice of our fallen brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, cousins, best friends, schoolmates and, finally, comrades-in-arms?’
That’s how Frank Lewis, guest speaker at the Veterans Day program Saturday morning at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Corydon, began his remarks honoring fallen soldiers.
Lewis said the very best young people are sent to do battle on the United States’ behalf, to defend the country’s freedoms at home, and many give the ultimate sacrifice in that defense.
‘They give the most precious gift of life itself,’ he said. ‘And yet, we seem so unaffected as we go about our daily lives. We still have access to the many amenities which so many take for granted and, more importantly, the freedoms which we enjoy every day.’
Lewis, an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam era, was introduced to the 50 or so people gathered by the veteran memorial at the cemetery by commander Granville (Granny) Herthel of VFW Post 2950 in Corydon.
Herthel started the ceremony with a 30-second moment of silence for veterans less fortunate than those present at the ceremony because they gave the ultimate sacrifice. He then spoke briefly about his thoughts on the sacrifices made by veterans.
‘Because of veterans that have gave the ultimate sacrifice, we are able to do about anything we want,’ he said.
Herthel said he’s extremely humbled to honor the veterans on the hallowed ground of the cemetery and said it’s still hard for him to express his feelings about veterans and their sacrifices because he gets too emotional.
‘I wish I could say more but I can’t,’ he said.
Brother Toney McCutcheon of Marengo led the group in prayer for the families of fallen soldiers and current soldiers. He asked that God keep his hands on their shoulders and allow them to come back home.
Charliene Wilkerson sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and later led the group in singing ‘God Bless America.’
The VFW Post hosted a lunch following the ceremony. Members of Boy Scout Troop 525 in Lanesville helped with the meal, and Herthel said they should be commended. He also noted that the Troop will have a flag-burning ceremony Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lanesville Heritage Park.