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Front Page » June 3, 2008 » News » Memorial Day
Published 3,183 days ago

Memorial Day

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Staff writer

County honors Veterans both living and dead

The Veterans gather at the Lawrence Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. Veterans include: Max Larsen, Hal Nielson, Jim Jensen, Fon Leamaster and Chaplain Owen Olsen. Firing squad behind: Bert Leamaster, Mac Sitterud, Bill Cunningham, Lanae Jones, Mar Grange and bugler Brett Mecham.

Emery County was full of red, white and blue to celebrate Memorial Day. Several ceremonies were held at the cemeteries in the area including: Elmo, Cleveland, Lawrence, Huntington, Molen, Ferron and Castle Dale.

In the Elmo cemetery, Commander Ray Quinn welcomed everyone to the ceremony. Chaplain Owen Olsen gave the opening prayer. Jennie Olsen and Donna Quinn read the poem Flanders Field and gave the history of the war poem. Blake Jones recited the story of the Ragged Ole Flag accompanied by Eldon Holmes on guitar.

The boy scouts in each community aided with the flag ceremonies. Commander Quinn at each cemetery said they honor the sacred memories of those who have given their life for their country. These men and women have gone onto an eternal rest and will be remembered by word and deed.

Jones who recited the Ragged Ole Flag at each of the northern cemeteries said he is very touched whenever he is privileged to recite this verse. It sends chills up and down his spine as he recalls the sacrifices of those who have died in battle and what the flag represents. Sometimes the flags are made of the finest silk, sometimes of just gauze material, but the meaning of the flag is the same. It stands as a symbol of our freedom as free men and women and a free nation.

Huntington Mayor Hilary Gordon said she has the utmost respect for those who have died in battle. She thanked those who helped ready the cemetery for Memorial Day and all the hard work which went into the project. Several cleanup projects were held and flowers planted to ready the cemetery.

Also in Huntington members of the youth council read patriotic poems in honor of Memorial Day.

Members of the Huntington Post participating included: Chaplain Owen Olsen, gunbearer, Fon Leamaster, American flag bearer, Hal Nielson, legion flag bearer Jim Jensen, gun bearer, Max Larsen. The firing squad included Bert Leamaster, Mac Sitterud, Bill Cunningham, Lanae Jones and Mar Grange.

Veteran Blake Jones recites the Ragged Ole Flag while Eldon Holmes accompanies on the guitar.

In Flanders Fields by Lt. Col, John McCrae, MD 1872-1918 of the Canadian Army: In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row, that mark our place; and in the sky, the larks still bravely singing fly, scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved and now lie in Flanders fields. 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.

The Ragged Ole Flag as recited by Blake Jones: I walked through a county courthouse square and on a park bench, an old man was sitting there. I said, your courthouse is kinda run down, He said, "No it'll do for our little town." I said your ole flag pole kinda leans a little bit. And that's a ragged old flag you got hanging on it."

He said have a seat, so I sat down, he said is this your first visit to our little town" I said I think it is"

He said, I don't like to brag, but we're kinda proud of that ragged ole flag." You see, we got a little hole in that flag there when Washington took it across the Delaware. It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it writing, "Oh say can you see."

It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham and Jackson tugging at its seams. It almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas Flag but she waved on tho. It got cut with a sword in Chancellorsville, got cut again at Shiloh Hill. Then there was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg, and the south wind blew hard on the ragged old flag."

On Flanders Field in World War I, she took a bad hit from a Bertha gun. She turned blood red in World War II. She hung limp and low by the time that one was through. She was in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraq. She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.

The Native Americans, the black, yellow and white all shed red blood for the Stars and Stripes. And here in her own good land, she's been abused, burned, dishonored, denied and refused, and the very government for which it stands has been scandalized throughout the land.

She's getting thread bare, and she's wearing kinda thin, but she's in pretty good shape, for the shape she's in. Cause she's been through the fire before and she can take a whole lot more. So we raise her up every morning and we bring her down every night, we don't let her touch the ground and we fold her up right, on second thought I do like to brag, cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.

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June 3, 2008
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