BY: RACHEL SMITH
Memorial Day is a wildly anticipated holiday in the Midwest. Often, it means the official end of cold, winter months with the promise of summer on the horizon. Those who spend forty hours per week in the grind are appreciative of a long weekend. It’s often spent with friends or neighbors firing up the grill for the first time. Spending the afternoon enjoying the warmer temperatures; eating, enjoying a cold brew, playing yard games and enjoying the company.
Regardless of how you choose to spend your extended weekend, the key element is that it is your choice. Whether you’ve purchased tickets and will be heading to Forest City for a weekend filled with Country Music, or spending the weekend on the couch binge-watching Game of Thrones.
It’s your choice.
You live in the ‘Land of the Free.’
Because of the Brave.
Webster’s Dictionary defines Memorial Day as “a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered.”
The first observance of this patriotic holiday was in 1868. The celebration commemorated the sacrifices of the Civil War by decorating the graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers. In years since World War I, the day has morphed into a celebration of honor for all who have died in any American war, as well as those who are Veterans and current members of the US Military.
In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a National Holiday, giving the average civilian the day off of work to enjoy the freedoms our military personnel has fought, bled and died to provide.
It sends chills down my spine when I think of that kind of sacrifice. To give so selflessly. To fight for our Country, and for what we believe in.
With all the turmoil in our World today, and especially in America, let’s take Monday to reflect. To celebrate. To live life to the fullest in honor of those who are no longer on this Earth. And mostly, to remember and honor their ultimate sacrifice.
Clear Lake holds one of the best Memorial Day services in the area. A complete listing of the events, starting at 9:30AM on Monday at the Seawall, are below.
9:30AM Assembly at Lake Front
- Welcome by Officer of the Day: Cris Beard, MGST U.S. Marine Corps, Retired
- Opening Prayer: Don Christ, U.S. Air Force Veteran
- National Anthem: Clear Lake High School Band directed by Brandon Borseth
- Navy Hymn: Clear Lake High School Band
- Casting of the Wreath: Mike Nelson, U.S. Navy Veteran
Clear Lake Cemetery Program
- God of Our Fathers: CLHS Band
- Placing of Wreathes
- Daughters of the American Revolution – Wanda Kennedy
- Civil War – Pam Grill
- American Legion Post #222 – Kathy Vine
- VFW Post 4868 – Linda Dockwell
- AMVETS #135- Linda Born
- A tribute to the Patriotic Orders that have been disbanded: “Navy Mothers”, “Women’s Relief Corps”. World War 1 and W.R.C: - Peta Ressler
- Placing of Wreathes
- Gettysburg Address: Jillian Enke
- The Meaning of Taps: Sydney Williams
- Speaker of the Day: Sarah Christ, Colonel U.S. Air Force
- My Country Tis of Thee: CLHS Band
- Honor Guard Salute
- Taps: John Aslakson, LT U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, Retired
- Benediction: Don Christ, Air Force Veteran