Memorial Day 2015
I went to Wildwood Cemetery last weekend to see the flags go up on Veterans' graves. Among the Forget-Me-Not flowers, songbirds and grave markers, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Marine Families, VFW (#844) and other volunteers tramped up and down the quiet hills with armfuls of small American flags, distributing them one at a time into the receptacles near the graves of Veterans.
Memorial Day is the time we pause to consider and thank the people who have died while in the military service of this Country.
A few images struck me this year. A Mother walks with a young Cub Scout, guiding him to graves where the flag holders lie waiting. She shows him how to place the flag straight in the metal. And to pause a moment. What thoughts go through his mind? Is it all just a romp in the countryside? A day of sunshine among the grass, graves and shady trees? Or does he ponder the likely hood of the day when it may be his turn to serve? Is that what the Mother broods on? Maybe one day my son will go, serve and possibly die. As some of these men and women did.
A Scout Master looks over a broad opening in the graveyard, checking the flags are all right. Has he seen action? His Father or Son? Does he think of the young men in his Troop and their futures? Of the actions of the Veterans that bought the freedom we take so for granted? Does he think of the blood? For the real cost of Democracy is not the taxes we pay, but the blood given freely of those asked and required. The dying does not stop.
Message posted May 16, 2015 from Col. David S. Doyle: "On behalf of all the Soldiers and leaders of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, it is with great sorrow that we share that Staff Sgt. Bryce E. Leek passed away as a result of his injuries sustained during a vehicle accident on May 1." Leek's home is listed as Williamsport, Pa. He was 35 years old.
Another thing I noticed was a number of gravemarkers bore the names of people running for office in the recent primary election. So the thread of service continues. The heritage of names and service. We that are here today are simply a drop in the river that goes on to eternity.
Please, this Memorial Day, drive through a cemetery near you, maybe on your way to a picnic, and pause near the grave flags. Consider the past and the future, our place in the long line of history. There will be services in many local Cemeteries this weekend.
- Service at 2:00 pm Saturday Veteran’s Memorial Park, West Fourth and Wahoo Drive
- Parade 1:30 Picture Rocks on Sunday
- Monday parade in Montgomery at 9:00am
- Hughesville at 9:00am
- Stars and Stripes notice of Staff Sgt. Bryce E. Leek's death May 2015
- 10th Mountain Div. Facebook notice of Staff Sgt, Bryce Leek's death
- List of Lycoming County Veteran Groups
- JV Brown Library Memorial Day article