A Memorial Day service was held on the front lawn of the American Legion Eckley E. Patch Post 470 on Sunday, May 28 to honor America’s fallen heroes.
Prior to the service at the Legion, five local cemeteries were visited to honor the fallen, where a member of the Auxiliary placed one red rose upon the headstone of a veteran as a token of enduring memory at each cemetery.
“These flowers may wither, but the spirit of which they are the symbol will endure the end of time,” said Post Commander Brian Radcliffe.
At Post 470 in Bath, Legion members, residents and veterans gathered to remember, celebrate and honor all the brave men and women who have fought in the defense of the nation, who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect their country so that we may remain safe and free.
“Today we honor all of those men and women who have so bravely served in the Armed Forces and died courageously on the battlefield or by the grace of God and time,” said Commander Radcliffe, followed by a moment of silence.
Commander Radcliffe then read the Honor Roll of all the members the Legion has lost this past year: Neil Angst, Alfred Birosik, Richard Dech, Vincent Dondiego, Walter Jandrositz, Ronald Jankowski, John Kovalovski, Michael Lilly, Carl Moyer, Robert Werner, Allen Winter and George Wuchter.
Following was a reading of the poem, “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae.
“As we celebrate this weekend as the ‘unofficial’ start of summer with parties and picnics, never forget those who are not here to join us,” urged Commander Radcliffe. “As kids enjoy their last remaining days of school and pools, beaches and amusement parks open up for the season, never forget those who’ve died so you can celebrate and enjoy these luxuries that we have.”
Commander Radcliffe urged those attending to also remember the men and women who made it home from battle but cannot enjoy such celebrations due to their suffering from the traumas of war.
“For many of our brave who answered their call of duty, not played it on Xbox, know firsthand that you can’t just hit the reset button and start over,” said Commander Radcliffe.
Before closing the annual ceremony, Commander Radcliffe asked one small favor of those in attendance:
“As you leave here today and head to your picnics and parties, please, just for a few minutes, when you pass by one of the many cemeteries in the area, and you see all those graves marked with their bronze marker and the colors of our country waiving over it, stop your car, get out, and walk through with your family, especially if you have children; take a walk through and actually look at the headstones, see what they can tell you. You may be surprised at what you can learn in a small piece of granite and that little bronze plaque.”