BRANDON — Around 75 people came out on a bright, sunny day Sunday in Brandon as the small community paid homage to Memorial Day with its annual ceremony.
The ceremony began with the traditional march from Brandon Memorial Park to Brandon Cemetery. Leading the way were members of the Knox County Joint Veterans Council, some riding in cars who still commit themselves to numerous ceremonies despite not physically being able to march. Also in the procession were wives of the council members and youngsters on patriotic-decorated bicycles while units from the Homer Volunteer Fire Department followed at the trail of the parade.
Area residents lined the roadway to the cemetery, waving their American flags and applauding as the color guard and other veterans led the procession to the cemetery. Once at Brandon Cemetery, Rev. Marvin Haught, pastor of Brandon Baptist Church, officiated the short ceremony in honor of local veterans.
“We want to thank you for being here today, remembering and honoring those who have sacrificed and given their all,” said Haught. He explained that among three cemeteries in Miller Township, there are found 16 dozen flags sitting at the base of tombstones to remind us that there that are many who have served our country out of Miller Township, with a handful of them being women. “They have served us and served us well,” said Haught. “We owe a great debt of gratitude for those who were willing to give all.”
Haught followed with a reading about an American flag, soldiers and families which all ring true with the meaning of Memorial Day. In realizing the cost of our freedom, “No, freedom isn’t free,” quoted Haught.
After a prayer led by Haught, Paulette Harrod followed with a reading titled “Final Inspection” which told the story of the selfish commitment made our many soldiers. “Step forward, now you soldier ... you’ve bared your burden well,” quoted Harrod.
A 21-rifle salute by the Knox County Joint Veterans Council honor guard then honored the local veterans, followed by the playing of Taps.
An additional ceremony followed at Brandon Baptist Church with patriotic hymns, scripture readings, special music by Aunna Neighbarger and the message delivered by Daryl Gruver.
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