Memorial Day observances honors heroes of the country

by Richard Lamb–Advance Editor

Retired judge and Vietnam veteran Don McLennan, in his address at Memorial Park Cemetery in Rogers City, asked the rhetorical question “why are we here today?” as he began his Memorial Day speech Monday.

“Did you all see the flags that are around town. Flags are everywhere. Those flags are placed to remember and honor veterans who died fighting in wars,” he said to the crowd assembled at the circle in the cemetery.

Following a brief ceremony at the county courthouse where a prayer was read and wreaths were placed at the markers commemorating the heroes, the procession moved to the cemetery for another time to remember those who gave their lives in service to the United States.

“As different as we all might be as individuals we share the privilege of living in this country where we truly have freedom. We can each live as we choose. We can work or play at whatever we want,” McLennan said.

Those freedoms extend to our freedom to debate subjects ranging from climate, educational policy and firearms among other things, he said.

“And then, and in an exercise of a secret ballot every couple of years, we can elect whomever we want to lead the government of our choice. We are so lucky to live here and we know that it isn’t like this everywhere else in the world. And it could be different here, but for two and one-half centuries now the price of maintaining our liberty has been paid,” he stated.

The price is vigilance backed by military force, but only because brave patriots have paid the ultimate price with their lives, he reminded the audience. He encouraged everyone to stop by the memorials at the courthouse to read the names of those who gave their lives for the country.

None of those folks wanted to die, but die they did for you and for our country. So, it is with grateful hearts, with deep and sincere appreciation we must remember the sacrifice that each made. It is absolutely true that the barbeque later today is going to be nice, but at this moment we remember,” McLennan said.

He encouraged everyone to remember those who have fought and died.

“We owe them so much,” he concluded.

With that, the Rogers City High School band, under the direction of Jack Fults III, played the Star-Spangled Banner to conclude the ceremony for another year.