CENTERBURG — Rain threatened the annual Memorial Day observance at Centerburg’s East View Cemetery, but it held off long enough for both the parade from downtown and the ceremony to be completed. The cold weather and the threat of rain also did not deter the crowd, which showed up in good numbers for the event.
Ohio American Legion Commander Steve Masowick was again the keynote speaker for the event. He read a letter written by U.S. Marine Sgt. William Stacey before he was killed in Afghanistan.
His death would not change the world, Stacey wrote, but if his actions would mean one child will live, and if the efforts and sacrifices of men who were willing to leave their country enable children to grow up without fear of thugs destroying their lives, then their sacrifice would have meaning.
“If my life buys the safety of one child, it was worth it,” he wrote.
Masowick told the crowd, “We are here to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” and described the usual ways those veterans are remembered, including visiting cemeteries and placing flowers and flags at graves, flying the flag at half-staff until noon, flying the POW flag and participating in the moment of remembrance at 3 p.m.
But more important is to keep faith with the dead and to preserve what they fought for.
Masowick emphasized that with the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by a Canadian surgeon serving at the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915 in Belgium in World War I. The final stanza contains the admonition to the living not to break faith with the dead:
“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”
Cathy and Jerry Hess placed the memorial wreath for American Legion Post 460. Boy Scout Troop 382 and Cub Scout Pack 382 also placed wreaths near the flagpole.
Master of ceremonies was Mike Heberthal, superintendent of Centerburg Schools and a member of Post 460. He took over from longtime emcee Bill Smith, Commander of Post 460.
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