Local residents joined together on Monday morning at the Merced District Cemetery to honor the nation’s military members who lost their lives while serving the United States in the Armed Forces.
The event got underway at 10 a.m. with an invocation by the American Legion Post 83 Chaplain. Those in attendance then stood for the playing of the National Anthem before American Legion Post 83 Commander Curtis Hamill gave a moving and powerful speech about the meaning of the day.
“We stand in the midst of patriots, and the friends and families of those who nobly served,” Hamill said. “The service members we honor today came from all walks of life, but they shared several fundamental qualities. They posses courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity. All of these qualities are needed to serve something larger than oneself.”
Hamill went on to say that those who were being honored by the day’s ceremony were extraordinary people, who responded in extraordinary ways, during extreme times.
“They rose to the nation’s call because they wanted to protect a nation that has given us so much.”
Following the speech, a wreath placement and flag presentation was conducted by Sunshine DeAnda of the US Army and Danielle Lightner, followed by a 21-Gun Salute and the playing of Taps by Major William Dacus.
At the event’s conclusion, the Merced District Cemetery invited residents to take part in a traditional Memorial Day baroque lunch with one another.