Great Bend honored veterans on Memorial Day with its traditional ceremony at Veterans Circle in the Great Bend Cemetery. This year’s program was coordinated by Disabled American Veterans Chapter 27.
Terry Young from the DAV chapter delivered the address, reminding the audience, “Today is not about celebrating the beginning of the summer season or a holiday from work. Today is a solemn day of remembrance, a day that should be properly set aside for contemplation. Ask yourself where you would be without the personal sacrifice made by these men and women. ...
“The men and women we honor today were real people — sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and husbands. They were strong and vibrant. They loved and were loved. And they are missed.”
Noting that women make up 17 percent of those serving today, Young commented, “Now is the time for our nation to serve and honor them equally.”
As a representative of DAV, he noted the ongoing fight for the rights of living veterans as well. DAV files more than 300,000 claims each year for benefits for injured and ill veterans. “The American people will no longer allow the federal government to continue running the Veterans Administration with little regard to our veterans’ health care needs.”
Young closed by saying, “May God bless America, the men and women who have fulfilled their promise to serve us, and today, especially, those who have fallen in that service.”
The program included an invocation and benediction by the Rev. William Johnson, “Taps” by Marc Webster on trumpet, and presentation of memorial wreaths by DAV Chaper 27, American Legion Post 180 and its auxiliary, Sons of American Legion Post 180, American Legion Riders Post 180, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3111 and its auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion (SAR) Sons of the Plains Chapter, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, Spanish American War (in memory of), World War I Barracks (in memory of), Boy Scouts of America Troop 184 and Girl Scouts of America Troop 11135. At the close of the ceremony at the Great Bend Cemetery, service organization representatives drove to the Arkansas River to release wreaths.