SPARTA — Since 1820, when two farmers each donated a half-acre of land for its founding, Bloomfield Cemetery has grown into one of the most beautiful graveyards in Ohio, according to featured speaker Charles C. Garris, who delivered his address at the cemetery’s Memorial Day celebration Monday. But the retired Highland High School teacher said there was more to Memorial Day than gathering in a beautiful place or getting the day off school.
“Today, I fear that the meaning of Memorial Day has somewhat lost its significance,” Garris said, speaking about the sacrifices many have made for their fellow Americans and citing John 15:13 from the Bible: “No greater love hath any man but that he lay down his life for a friend.”
Garris talked about how the holiday had changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day over the years. He also described his memories of World War II, seeing houses in the area with blue or gold stars in their windows. The blue stars represented families with members in the service. The gold stars stood for families who had lost a member in the fighting. Families with multiple people in service displayed a star for each person.
The Highland High School Navy Junior ROTC, with Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Cope, served as color guard, and patriotic music was performed by the Highland High School Marching Band.